Understanding Anxiety in Individuals with Autism 05/12/23 | WEBINAR

Picture of Understanding Anxiety in Individuals with Autism 05/12/23 | WEBINAR
by Keira Moore, Ph.D., BCBA-D. LABA
founder of www.MooreBehaviorConsulting.com

Earn 2 BACB Learning CEUs!

This 2 hour CE webinar will teach behavior analysts how to understand anxiety in individuals with autism from a behavior analytic perspective. We will discuss what anxiety is and why it seems to be so prevalent in this population. Participants will also learn how to define anxiety as behavior and how anxious behavior can be conditioned. We will also review how to measure, assess, and treat anxiety in children with autism.

This LIVE webinar will air on May 12, 2023 from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm ET.

Purchase required for attendance.

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by Keira Moore, Ph.D., BCBA-D. LABA
founder of www.MooreBehaviorConsulting.com

This webinar is designed specifically for behavior analysts who work with individuals with autism. In this presentation participants will learn how to functionally define anxiety as behavior and will learn the difference between studying anxiety as behavior vs. as a hypothetical construct. We will then discuss the relation between autism and anxiety. There has been speculation in both research and clinical practice that many individuals with autism have anxiety (e.g., Kanner, 1943; White et al., 2009).  Typically, anxiety is detected through verbal report, however many individuals with autism lack these communication skills, making anxiety difficult to measure, assess, and treat in this population. After learning how to operationally define anxiety as behavior, participants will learn how to use behavioral methods to measure, assess, and treat anxiety in children with autism.

This webinar will be taught by Dr. Keira Moore, BCBA-D, LABA (MA), a 2015 graduate of the Western New England University Ph.D. program in Behavior Analysis.

Dr. Moore has been working with children in the field of behavior analysis for over 15 years. She currently runs Moore behavior Consulting, a behavior analytic consulting company, focused on the assessment and treatment of sleep problems (www.moorebehaviorconsulting.com).


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Learning Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • how to define anxiety as behavior and assess anxiety through the lens of the four term contingency.
  • how anxiety is conceptually different from other behavior such as excitement, repetitive and ritualistic behavior, and OCD.
  • several methods of measuring and assessing anxiety in individuals with autism that do not rely on verbal report.
  • at least two functional treatment strategies for treating anxiety in individuals with autism.
Related Articles


  • Jones, K. M., & Friman, P. C. (1999). A case study of behavioral assessment and treatment of insect phobia. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32(1), 95-98. doi:10.1901/jaba.1999.32-95
  • Friman, P. C., Hayes, S. C., & Wilson, K. G. (1998). Why behavior analysts should study emotion: The example of anxiety. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31(1), 137-156. doi:10.1901/jaba.1998.31-137
  • Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: Macmillan.
  • Mayes, S. D., Calhoun, S. L., Murray, M. J., Ahuja, M., & Smith, L. A. (2011). Anxiety, depression, and irritability in children with autism relative to other neuropsychiatric disorders and typical development. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(1), 474-485. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.06.012
  • Vasa, R. A., & Mazurek, M. O. (2015). An update on anxiety in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Current opinion in psychiatry, 28(2), 83–90. https://doi.org/10.1097/YCO.0000000000000133
  • Whitaker, R. (2010). Anatomy of an epidemic: Magic bullets, psychiatric drugs, and the astonishing rise of mental illness in America. New York: Crown Publishers
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