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AAPC Publishing

Excelling With Autism: Obtaining Critical Mass Using Deliberate Practice by AAPC Publishing

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Most individuals with ASD and other related disorders are taught skills only to a certain point. For example, an individual may learn to read a calendar of assignments and check it the night before; however, he is not totally independent on this task because he has not learned that you often need to check your calendar more often than one night before an activity, such as a test.

As adults, people on the spectrum may be taught to pay bills and pay them on a timely basis when an invoice is provided. However, what if there is no invoice — such as with rent. These challenges are directly related to a lack of success in independent living, employment, and social interactions. How do we change this trajectory?

We can help individuals reach critical mass. Think of critical mass as beyond generalization -- über generalization, if you will. It is the point where an individual has gained enough information to apply it to situations, activities or skills in which instruction has not been provided.  

Excelling With Autism: Obtaining Critical Mass Using Deliberate Practice focuses on describing the factors that lead to critical mass for those on the spectrum or other related disorders when providing instruction and supports. Learn easy-to-use strategies that can help individuals with ASD to move about their world as independently as possible, making informed decisions about their wants and needs.

Teaching to critical mass will help learners to be successful not only with tasks they have been taught to do, but will also help them to be successful with activities on which they have not received instruction.

Praise for Excelling With Autism

  • According to Lee Stickle, individuals with autism have unlimited potential. Finally, a book that shows how to reach that potential.

  • We shouldn’t settle for poor outcomes, individuals with autism deserve better. Learn how to help them reach their unlimited potential.

  • With excellent tools, you get excellent outcomes.

  • Beyond coping, beyond getting through the day… this book teaches how to help students with autism truly thrive.

  • Revolutionary concept. Entirely changes the way we teach students with autism. If fully implemented, this book would change the way students with autism are taught from the beginning and with it, the outcomes.

Editorial Reviews

“What distinguishes excellent and autism-friendly teachers is that they know why a certain teaching strategy is a good strategy for learners with autism. This book offers exactly that knowledge and it is therefore indispensable in the library of every setting that has learners with autism”

-- Peter Vermeulen, PhD; Co-director of Autisme Centraal, AAPC author, international speaker, and thought leader.

“This outstanding book serves as a wake-up call to do things differently within autism education in order to change outcomes for individuals with autism. This book one of the most important autism books to ever be written.” 

-- Kelly Mahler, MS, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist, autism consultant, AAPC author, and international speaker.

 Meet the Authors

Brenda Smith Myles, PhD, is the recipient of the Autism Society of America's Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, and the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Developmental Disabilities Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. Brenda has made over 1500 presentations all over the world and written more than 250 articles and books on ASD. In addition, she served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee; and collaborated with the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, National Autism Center, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who identified evidenced-based practices for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research (SCORE) and ASTEP Asperger Syndrome Training and Education Program. Further, in the latest survey conducted by the University of Texas, she was acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world.

Ruth Aspy, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who specializes in transdisciplinary assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. She is co-author of a comprehensive model of intervention, The Ziggurat Model, which earned the Literary Achievement Award from the Autism Society of America. Dr. Aspy speaks nationally and internationally. She has provided training and consultation throughout the United States and internationally in countries including Greece, Australia, Canada, Trinidad, Spain, Turkey, and Japan. Her focus is on understanding the underlying strengths and characteristics of those with ASD and designing supports and strategies with their neurological/brain differences in mind. Dr. Aspy has co-authored other works including: FBA to Z: Functional Behavior and Intervention Plans for Individuals with ASD; Excelling with Autism: Obtaining Critical Mass Using Deliberate Practice; and Talk With Me; High Functioning Autism and Difficult Moments.

Kerry Mataya, MS, is the Executive Director of Bridgeway Services providing individualized and group intervention-based services in the areas of social development, problem-solving, perspective-taking, academics, self-awareness, behavior regulation, and executive function. She received a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Autism and Asperger Syndrome from the University of Kansas. Mataya holds many contracts with school systems for individualized teaching, social skills programming, executive functioning skill development, behavior support, and academic support. Most recently, Mataya co-authored Successful Problem-Solving for High-Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and is currently working on additional projects that systemize learning for students with ASD. Mataya has presented at numerous conferences and workshops internationally. She is also involved with Asperger Connection, a small non-profit organization that provides funding to improve the quality of life for high-functioning individuals with ASD.

Hollis Shaffer is a sophomore at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). As a college student, Hollis is pursuing a major in psychology and a career assisting students with HF-ASD. Hollis was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome during his 8th-grade year when he was 14 years old after being misdiagnosed with ADHD for many years. He currently works with Bridgeway Services as an assistant and small group leader during our after-school social groups assisting students with HF-ASD in areas such as conversation, team-building activities, group behavior, and sports. He began working for Bridgeway as an Overnight Camp Counselor during May 2013, but his position has continued to grow. He is currently working on several writing projects and has spoken at numerous conferences around the United States. In addition to working for Bridgeway Services, Hollis enjoys rock climbing, playing chess, Church of the Highlands, reading, and hanging out with family and friends.