Coping with Uncertainty in Everyday Situations (CUES) focused on the development of an intervention package to address anxiety relating to uncertainty experienced by autistic children. For children and young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), anxiety can be a significant problem. Some advances have been made recently in the development of interventions to tackle anxiety in ASD but these interventions are often simply practical adaptations of programmes designed for children without ASD that have been altered to make them more accessible, rather than based on theoretically driven frameworks of why children with ASD might be more vulnerable to anxiety. Over the past few years we have developed an evidence base for the importance of a thinking style which involves ‘intolerance of uncertainty’ to the onset and continuation of anxiety in children with ASD. Based on this theory, with the funding from the Children’s Foundation, we have developed an intervention package that focuses on addressing intolerance of uncertainty in children with ASD (Coping with Uncertainty in Everyday Situations CUES ©). Our study involved the development of a parent-based programme of intervention based on CBT principles, focusing specifically on intolerance of uncertainty for young people with ASD experiencing anxiety. The intervention involves parents attending eight, weekly two hour sessions alongside other parents and provides parents with strategies and tools to assist their child help to develop a more flexible approach to uncertainty and therefore reduce IU related anxiety. Our study has enabled us to develop and provide preliminary evaluation of the acceptability of our novel intervention for parents of children with ASD.

Who was involved in this study?

The Principal Investigator for this study was Dr Jacqui Rodgers

Jacqui Rodgers

Also involved in the project from outside the Neurodevelopment and Disability team were:

  • Mark Freeston (Co-Investigator; Professor of Clinical Psychology, Newcastle University)
  • Emma Honey (Co-Investigator; Senior Clinical Psychologist, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust/ Associate Clinical Lecturer, Newcastle University)

More information        


Twitter: @jacquirodgers 

Call: 0191 208 7562

Other research

CUES sits within the 'Effects and acceptability of interventions' and 'Engaging young people and familiesthemes.

If you are looking for other research linked to ASD or Mental Health, please view the relevant conditions and topics page for a full list of studies.