The Cognitive Affective Training Kit - CAT Kit
A huge, powerful, user-friendly tool.
This intervention has been designed to help participants become aware of how thoughts, feelings and actions interact.
Whilst using the various interactive and visual components, the individual begins to share and explore their new insights with others. The resource is an easy and effective method proven to be valuable in a variety of environments, with neuro-typical children and young adults as well as those with developmental disabilities.
Valuable for parents, teachers, counsellors, therapists and other care or educational professionals.
More information below.
The Cognitive Affective Training Kit is a powerful, user-friendly visual tool that gets straight to the core of the thoughts and emotions behind behaviour. It is a practical, visual approach with materials provided to help improve communication abilities and skills, achieve self-insight, communicate personal experiences and identify new, appropriate communication of thoughts and feelings.
The CAT-kit has proven to be a valuable resource to improve social communication skills, both within mainstream educational settings and to support those with special needs. In Scandinavia, it is used by teachers and educational professionals in the public school system, special education, residential institutions and treatment facilities and psychiatric services. Psychologists use the kit for cognitive behaviour therapy with children, young people and adults. The method is particularly suitable for people with autistic spectrum conditions, OCD, ADHD, behavioural and emotional disorders and similar conditions.
It consists of large folder containing a wealth of fold-out tools and re-usable, interactive velcro, wipe-clean visual communication elements suitable for children and young adults to use and a CD-ROM containing electronic supportive material.
Specific elements include:
The Measure: This allows us to evaluate the intensity of our feelings, thoughts, perceptions and interests in a visual and concrete manner. We do this by using feelings words, body awareness, faces or images in combination with The Measure.
The Body: The figure of the body is used to support conversations on links between our thoughts, feelings, body and behavior. By applying specific words and pictures to what our body is experiencing – writing, drawing or adding pictures and symbols to the figure of the body. we can explore these links in new ways.
The Wheel: is a visualization of the diversity of the world we live in. It enables us to divide an issue into its components, and thereby identify the individual factors that contribute to our overall impression and experience. We are able to take a different approach both to the issue as a whole and to its individual components and act on them consciously.
In practice, we can work with all issues: Self-image, personal character traits, our perception of others, behavior, events, ethical issues, etc. We use our own words, images, colors and symbols and promote personal reflection and increased self-awareness.
My Circles: is a tool for visualising relationships, friendships and interests, from the closest personal relationships to more public, general ones. We can evaluate interests, experiences and concepts, school subjects, leisure activities, TV shows, pets, holidays, computer games, dreams and visions. Topics spread out like rings in water from a central point and we arrange our preferences within a visual structure. This concrete framework enables exploration, perspective and dialogue.
The Year: Different types of time tools help develop a concept and measurement of time. The Year is one of these tools. We may need to gain perspective over a long period of time and relate to the changing of the seasons or repeating traditions. Similarly, we may perceive changes or cycles in mood, vulnerability or other influences which change during the course of the year.
By identifying events over the course of the year and linking them to different feelings, thoughts and sensations and their relative strengths, we become aware of the changeability of everything and are better able to prepare ourselves for potentially challenging periods.
Another way to create perspective over time is to use The Week. The Week contains a classic worksheet which can be adapted to the user's own needs and can be written and drawn on. We can, for example, go over what will be happening during the week or evaluate events using feelings words and faces.
The Week can also be used to focus awareness on particular activities which have been agreed upon. We may have agreed to register episodes of joy, fear or sadness. In the digital version of the CAT-kit, we can set up templates in The Week and adapt them to our own specifications, adding texts, images and number of days. We can log in anywhere where there is internet access, providing flexibility and making it easy carry out insightful home assignments throughout the week.
The Day is another tool that helps give people who lack overview a sense of time.The Day can help establish the time and place of critical events and show – in words and pictures – how we have been feeling at different times of the day. One benefit of using The Day is that it helps us understand how moods, feelings, thoughts and actions may change over time.
It may help us understand how we can be very happy and feel comfortable in one situation and then, in almost no time at all, become so angry or sad that all joy is eradicated. We can measure the intensity of our feelings and sensations using The Measure and include the results in our description of what happened.
And much more!
Includes : binder, manual, 10 dry erase visual tools and 90+ feelings with corresponding faces and words. These are wipe-clean and interactive - using a Velcro®-type fixing tape.
About the Authors:
Dr. Tony Attwood has 30+years of experience of supporting those with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). He has worked with several thousand individuals from all age groups, from profoundly disabled persons to university professors. Dr. Attwood works in private practice in Brisbane, but is also adjunct professor at Griffith University, Queensland. He presents workshops and training courses for parents, professionals, and individuals with autism all over the world. In addition, he is a prolific author of scientific papers and books. His books and videos on Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning autism are recognized as the best offerings in the field. Over 300,000 of his book Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals have been sold, and it has been translated into twenty languages.
A clinical psychologist and the Director of the Asperger's Resource Centre in Denmark, Dr. Kirsten Callesen has been in the autism field for over ten years. She is actively engaged in educating others about Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and the use of the CAT-kit, which has already made a tremendous impact in Scandinavia by helping parents and professionals structure conversations that focus on emotional issues. She consults to a number of schools and institutions, providing various counselling services. Kirsten has led a 6 month program for parents called the Pioneer Groups, where parents learn about autism and how to care for their newly-diagnosed child through meetings, workshops, and individual family counselling.
Dr. Annette Moller Nielsen is a clinical psychologist who currently runs her own private practice, AutismeMidt, She also works closely with the Centre for Autism in Copenhagen, where she is responsible for planning courses, parent counseling, and the psychological assessment of children, adolescents, and adults. Since 1980, she has had a teaching position with the Municipality of Copenhagen's Educational Programme for children with autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Annette's teaching program focuses on how cognitive methods and the CAT-kit can be used to help children and young people with socio-cognitive difficulties.