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Excelling With Autism: Obtaining Critical Mass Using Deliberate Practice

excelling with autism

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Excelling with Autism: Obtaining Critical Mass Using Deliberate Practice introduces a new way to optimize the progress of learners with ASD. Reaching critical mass helps learners apply information in new ways – spontaneous generalization. This book is about doing things differently to positively impact individuals on the spectrum by supporting the development of critical mass in areas that are necessary for successful functioning in home, work, and community using the research-based elements of deliberate practice. In this book, the four elements of deliberate practice -- developing specific goals, ensuring focus, moving out of the comfort zone, and communicating outcomes -- are applied to teaching social, communication, and daily living skills. Critical mass and the related science of deliberate practice will change the life course of individuals with ASD. Incorporating the elements of deliberate practice is a critical step toward helping individuals with ASD to reach their unlimited potential.

Meet the Authors
Brenda Smith Myles, PhD, is president of AAPC Publishing and a consultant with the Ziggurat Group. She was the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome (GRASP) Divine Neurotypical Award, American Academy of Pediatrics Autism Champion, and two-time recipient of the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Developmental Disabilities Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. She has written over 250 articles and books on autism spectrum disorder and has made over 1500 presentations all over the world. In addition, 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-creator of a comprehensive model of intervention. Along with Dr. Barry Grossman, Dr. Aspy has written The Ziggurat Model, winner of the ASA Literary Award of the Year. Aspy and Grossman have co-authored with two colleagues, FBA to Z: Functional Behavior and Intervention Plans for Individuals with ASD. 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 underlying strengths and characteristics of those with ASD and designing supports and strategies with their neurological/ brain differences in mind. 

Kerry Mataya, MEd, is the Executive Director of Bridgeway Services providing individual 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 emphasis in Autism and Asperger syndrome from the University of Kansas. In addition to offering after-school social groups and summer camps, Mataya holds many contracts with school systems. She co-authored Successful Problem-Solving for High Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and is working on additional projects that systematize learning for students with ASD. Mataya has presented at numerous conferences and workshops in the U.S. and internationally. She is also involved with Asperger Connection, a non-profit organization that provides funding to improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD. 

Hollis Shaffer is a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). As a college student, Shaffer is pursuing a major in psychology and a career assisting students with HFASD. Shaffer was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome 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 afterschool social groups assisting students with HF-ASD in areas such as conversation, team-building activities, group behavior, and sports. 

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