Use this cognitive affective therapy kit- The CAT Kit By Dr. Tony Attwood to learn how to improve the communication skills of people with autism and Asperger Syndrome. The CAT-kit is a simple, easy to understand way for young people to communicate with adults, and each other. The kit's visual and concrete design attracts students attention and encourages them to talk about their thoughts and emotions in a non-defensive manner. Children are able to communicate their attitudes and emotions with visual aids and are not inhibited by their lack of words.
The CAT kit contains highly visual, interactive, and customizable communication elements for children and young adults. The CAT kit will help people with autism to:
become aware of how their thoughts, feelings and actions work together use visual components to share their insights with others resolve conflicts with siblings and classmates help clarify differing perspectives between age groups simplify day-to-day conversation and teach parents how to deal with displays of emotion or misconceptions that ordinarily would be difficult to manage.
The CAT kit is an easy and effective way to work with typically developing children and young adults as well as those on the autism spectrum.
The CAT Kit includes:
The Manual explains the CAT-kit elements using easy-to-read, nontechnical language. The first part of the manual is an introduction to Cognitive Affective Training. The second part is a practical introduction to each CAT elements and how to use them. The manual usually takes about 30 minutes to read.
The CAT-organizer is a visual tool that helps a student talk about behaviors. It visually breaks up conversations into manageable pieces making it easy for students and adults to understand each other.
Nine Basic Feelings Cards include: joy, sorrow, fear, love, anger, pride, shame, surprise, and safety. There are 10 more specific feelings under each basic feeling category, making 90 emotions available for students to choose from. Kit also includes a word piece and a face piece for each of the 90 emotions and they are all affixed with Velcro. There are also blank pieces where students can write in other feelings or draw unique faces.
The Measure is just like a thermometer and is marked from 0 to 10. Circles of Velcro attach at each interval so you can apply faces, feelings words to mark the intensity of feelings, thoughts, experiences and interests.
The Body Card is a simple body figure used to facilitate connections between thoughts/feelings and body/behavior. The student can identify where certain emotions affect them physically (e.g., perhaps a stomachache during anxiety, a headache during stress, etc.) and how they express those emotions with their body.
My Circles Card is a visual model of the student's relationships, friendships, and interests. Use the My Circles card to write the names of people who the student interacts with inside the five levels of centrality: Circle 1 me; Circle 2 family, Circle 3 friends; Circle 4 professionals; Circle 5 Strangers. This is a great tool for teaching appropriate social skills! You can teach Theory of Mind skills by placing someone else in Circle 1 and defining what their social circles may be. It can also be used to rank interests, events, and other concepts in an infinite possibility of contexts.
Timetables help develop and support the concept of time. Using The Day, The Week and The Year tools, students can place events in order and associate different emotions to those events. This can help the child understand how a person can be very happy and feel comfortable in one situation and then a second later become angry or sad. These can also be used to present daily, weekly, or yearly schedules to students ahead of time in order to avoid stress in times of change.
Behavior Palettes are charts that contain written descriptions of different behaviors, starting with the thoughts and feelings behind behaviors, and working up to the effects the behaviors may have on other people. Four different types of behavior are presented within four colors: Red (outright aggressive), Yellow (passive aggressive), Grey (submissive) and Green (assertive). These tools promote understanding and help develop the students ability to self-regulate.
The Wheel is a visual personality organizer that promotes self-awareness. By using words, drawings, colors, or other symbols that work well for the student, you can help create a customized reflection of the student's personality. Using The Wheel as a sort of pie chart, each trait or characteristic is drawn in as a different piece and named according to the child's self-perception, externalizing internal traits. Different parts may have different sizes to symbolize that traits may be stronger or weaker according to how the student acts in different circumstances.
CAT-Book Labels are intended for the various do-it-yourself books that can be used in conjunction with the CAT-kit. A CAT-book may be a workbook, a notebook, a homemade book, or a binder with dividers and folders. There are two labels for each suggested book: a Feelings book, a Diary, a Success book and a book of Special Interests. These books are optional but are a great way to extend the effectiveness of the CAT-kit and allow the student to record ideas in unique ways.