Facing Your Fears

Do you have a child with autism who struggles with anxiety?

Facing Your Fears is a 14-week, family-focused program for children with high-functioning autism who need help learning to manage their anxieties and fears.

Developed specifically for children with autism, this small group program uses cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) strategies to help young people identify and manage their anxieties and fears. A well-developed parent education component is an integral part of the program and allows for the practice of strategies learned in the group at home and in the community.

In Facing Your Fears, children learn:

  • how to recognize and monitor their body and mind for signs of anxiety.
  • techniques for relaxing their bodies and reframing their thinking toward more “helpful” ways of viewing situations.
  • how to face their fears through developing and implementing a graduated fear exposure plan.

In Facing Your Fears, parents learn:

  • constructive ways of talking about and responding to their child’s anxiety.
  • how to support their child’s efforts to recognize, monitor and manage their anxiety symptoms.
  • how to develop graduated fear exposure plans and work with their child to implement the plan at home while getting weekly support and feedback

This program is ideal for children 8-12 years old with an autism diagnoses, who read at a minimum of a grade 2 level and perform close to their peers in language and intellect. An initial screening interview will be conducted to ensure the program is appropriate for your child and family needs.

What the program has really accomplished is giving [my daughter] strategies and a plan and the confidence to know I can overcome my fears - Facing Your Fears Parent

Facing Your Fears was developed by Dr. Judy Reaven and her colleagues at JFK Partners, University of Colorado School of Medicine and is based on more than 8 years of funded research. Most of children who took this program showed significant improvement in their ability to manage their anxieties when assessed 6 months after they had finished the program. These results have been replicated in other, independent studies.

Learning to manage their anxiety can help children become more successful in school and participate more fully in everyday activities.

Facing Your Fears is delivered by the Phoenix Centre for Learning, 437 Welland Ave., Suite 300, St. Catharines, ON L2M 5V2  Tel: 289-362-5069; email: email hidden; JavaScript is required.  Call for more information or to register for upcoming sessions.


Read St. Catharines Standard article about our Facing Your Fears program: