KONTAKT® is group social skills group training intervention for children (7 – 12 years) and adolescents (12-19 years) diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
KONTAKT® is underpinned by an international evidence base, being initially developed in Frankfurt and adapted and expanded for use in Sweden by Professor Sven Bölte and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute for Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND), in Stockholm www.ki.se/kind https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856717302022
This English Language Edition was adapted and validated in Australia by the Curtin Autism Research Group in work lead by Professor Sonya Girdler and colleagues at Curtin University, in Western Australia https://carg.curtin.edu.au The English Edition and evaluation research was made possible by a generous donation from the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation https://www.perronfoundation.org.au/
KONTAKT® group leaders need to have undertaken specialised training before they can run this program and purchase the books. This training is offered remotely through the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. If you are interested in undertaking this training, please contact their course co-ordinator, Lisa Wilsson email@example.com The six books for this program will be supplied as part of your training.
KONTAKT® has been tailored specifically to the Australian context and is highly acceptable to autistic Australian children and adolescents https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-020-04477-5
Enabling participants to manage their social anxiety and achieve their personally meaningful social goals https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00787-021-01814-6
Australian KONTAKT® participants and their parents have been highly satisfied with the program, noting improvements in participants social understanding, communication, relationships and empowerment https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-021-05045-1
Using a variety of activities, participants learn to initiate conversations and to understand verbal and nonverbal signals, social roles, norms and expectations. KONTAKT® teaches participants to problem solve social situations, manage conflicts, building their self-confidence in social situations.
The Australian version of KONTAKT® is held over 16 sessions and is designed to be run over two school terms.
The KONTAKT® program materials consist of six books, the Manual, Trainers’ Workbook and separate Participant and Parent Workbooks for both the Child and Teen versions.
The KONTAKT® Manual
contains a theoretical overview of the diagnosis of ASD, function, interventions and support. In addition, social skills training is described in general, as well as experiences and studies regarding KONTAKT® more specifically. The majority of the manual provides an in-depth description of the KONTAKT® training, its objectives, structure, preparation and implementation.
The Trainers’ Workbook
provides specific and in depth instructions and directions for managing the training groups. It also provides practical guidance on how KONTAKT® as a group social skills training can be used in the work with children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD. Purchasers of this workbook will also be given online access to additional support materials that can be downloaded and used in training.
The Participants’ Workbook
provides resources for participants to plan and reflect on their experiences in training. Material is designed to enhance their individual treatment goals and also to be used as a reference after the intervention. Participants will be able to register, map and practice after each session.
The Parents’ Workbook
helps parents support their child or teen in KONTAKT® training, by assisting with practicing the skills taught during the sessions and also through helping with the assignments that the child or teen completes between sessions.