Developing social skills
Learning social skills is extremely important if you are on the autism spectrum. These skills enhance your participation in family life, social groups and the wider community. Improving your social awareness can also help you transition into the workplace.
KONTAKT program for teenagers
CARG is currently evaluating KONTAKT, a Swedish social skills training program designed to improve your communication and social interaction skills, and your ability to adapt to different social situations.
A trial in Sweden found that adolescents who participated in KONTAKT had reduced stress levels and showed improvements in their social skills, behaviour and overall functioning immediately following the program and three months afterwards.
Development and evaluation of a social skills group training for Australian teenagers on the autism spectrum
PhD student Bahareh Afsharnejad is assessing the effectiveness of KONTAKT in Australia and whether social skills are influenced by different social and cultural circumstances.
Teenagers on the autism spectrum experience difficulties with their social interaction and communications, which could result in many of them avoiding social situations. Social skills group training (SSGT) is an intervention that is usually successful in addressing these difficulties.
This research project, which is being delivered in collaboration with Autism Association of Western Australia and KIND Institute (Sweden), with generous funding from the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, aims to:
- evaluate the effectiveness of a manualised SSGT from the perspective of the teenagers
- evaluate if it has been helpful in supporting the teenagers achieving their personally meaningful social goals
- evaluate the overall quality of life of the teenagers participating
- evaluate the cost effectiveness of the SSGT.