Training Details

Event Dates and Timeframe Friday, February 15, 2019 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM
  • Friday, February 15, 2019
    • 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM


Alaska Native Primary Care Center, King Fischer Room
4320 Diplomacy Dr
United States

Cost Range


Host and Instructor

Host: Alaska Autism Resource Center
Instructor: Dr. Brenda Smith Myles


Each year, AARC invites a nationally recognized speaker to share their message in at least two rural Alaskan locations. In 2019, AARC is excited to welcome Dr. Brenda Smith Myles to Alaska! ​ This year, we are also thrilled to announce that each of her presentations will be available to all Alaskans via live, interactive video-stream online via BlueJeans!

"Critical Mass, Purposeful Practice and Autism: Creating Independent Learners"

Download presentation slides

Teach a skill from start to finish! Promote independence! Help individuals with ASD learn independently! Most individuals with ASD 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, they 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? This presentation focuses on describing the factors that lead to critical mass for those on the spectrum when providing instruction and supports. Critical mass, in this regard, 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. 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 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.

At the end of the presentations, attendees will be able to:

Define critical mass and its importance to life success for individuals with ASD.

Understand the neurology of ASD that supports the need for instruction to critical mass.

Describe the strategies that lead to critical mass for individuals with ASD.