Early Bird!

Saskatoon, SK – October 13 & 14, 2017



TCU Place 35 – 22 Street East, Saskatoon, SK

Learn practical skills that can be immediately implemented into existing curriculum and training programs, at home or in school!

Friday, October 13

Brenda Smith Myles

Critical Mass, Purposeful Practice and Autism: Creating Independent Learners

Conference speaker Ruth Aspy

Saturday, October 14

Ruth Aspy

Positive Strategies for Supporting Self-Regulation

Conference Description

Friday, October 13

Brenda Smith Myles

Critical Mass, Purposeful Practice and Autism: Creating Independent Learners

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 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.

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

1. Define critical mass and its importance to life success for individuals with ASD.
2. Understand the neurology of ASD that supports the need for instruction to critical mass.
3. Describe the strategies that lead to critical mass for individuals with ASD.

Note – There will be a new book published on the topic of Critical Mass closer to the conference date.

Brenda Smith Myles Ph.D., Brenda has made over 1000 presentations all over the world and written more than 250 articles and books on ASD. She has served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee, was on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium, and collaborated with the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has also worked with the National Autism Center, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who identified evidenced based practices for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and served as Project Director for the Texas Autism Resource Guide for Teachers (TARGET).

Dr. Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research (SCORE), College Internship Program, Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation Network, 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.

Saturday, October 14

Ruth Aspy

Positive Strategies for Supporting Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is where successful functioning and independence starts. There is no way to get there without it.

Self-regulation is defined in many ways:

• The ability to control one’s own behavior.
• The ability for the mind to organize itself.
• The ability to modulate emotions – to soothe oneself when distressed or to express or suppress certain feelings.
• The ability to adapt to new people and new situations.
• The ability to match arousal level to the task or situation.
• The ability to set a goal and adjust behavior to reach that goal.
• The ability to deal with frustration.

ASD presents some challenges to developing self-regulation skills – sensory differences, difficulty with flexibility and change, difficulty modulating emotions, and challenges understanding the social world.

This presentation provides information on how to identify when characteristics of ASD are interfering with self-regulation. A range of strategies for supporting regulation and building self-regulation skills will be discussed.

Ruth Aspy, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist. She is co-creator of the Ziggurat Model and author of the following books: Designing Comprehensive Interventions for High-Functioning Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Ziggurat Model, High-Functioning Autism and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Reducing Meltdowns, and FBA to Z: Functional Behavior and Intervention Plans for Individuals with ASD.

Dr. Aspy also specializes in transdisciplinary evaluation of ASD. She speaks and consults internationally. Dr. Aspy is currently Director of Programming at Common Threads Family Resource Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Tentative Daily Schedule

Friday, October 13

Registration 7:30 am – 8:45 am
Opening Remarks 8:45 am – 9:00 am
Brenda Smith Myles
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Refreshment Break 10:30 am – 10:45 am
Brenda Smith Myles 10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch on Own 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Brenda Smith Myles 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm
Refreshment Break 2:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Brenda Smith Myles 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Saturday, October 14

Registration 8:00 am – 8:45 am
Opening Remarks 8:45 am – 9:00 am
Ruth Aspy
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Refreshment Break 10:30 am – 10:45 am
Ruth Aspy 10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch on Own 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Ruth Aspy 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm
Refreshment Break 2:30 pm – 2:45pm
Ruth Aspy 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm




Professional Rates

BEFORE October 3, 2017 AFTER October 3, 2017
2 Days $315.00 + $15.75 GST = $330.75 $345.00 + $17.25 GST = $362.25
1 Day Only $230.00 + $11.50 GST = $241.50 $260.00 + $13.00 GST = $273.00

Parent/Para-Professional Rates

BEFORE October 3, 2017 AFTER October 3, 2017
2 Days $275.00 + $13.75 GST = $288.75 $305.00 + $15.25 GST = $320.25
1 Day Only $165.00 + $8.25 GST = $173.25 $195.00 + $9.75 GST = $204.75

Registration Includes

Sessions, session materials, refreshment breaks. If you do not receive a confirmation 7 business days prior to the conference please contact Autism Awareness Centre. Registrations received after the deadline may not be sent a confirmation before the conference.

General Information

Conference Location

TCU Place
35 – 22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK.
Telephone: 306-975-7777


TCU Place is surrounded by 2,000 parking spaces. Across the street is Midtown Parking, a pay parking lot, which also has heated underground parking for those cold winter days; and across from Midtown Parking is another pay parking lot.


There are a number of hotels in the area. Here are two suggestions:

Radisson Hotel Saskatoon
405 – 20th Street East, Saskatoon, SK.
Phone: 1-306-665-3322

Room Rate – $139 per night (plus applicable taxes) with complimentary underground parking.
Please use the code AAC when booking the room.
Room rate based on availability

Hilton Garden Inn Saskatoon Downtown
90 – 22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK.
Phone: 1-306-244-2311

Dress Code

Dress is business casual. Delegates are reminded that the room may be chilly at times and are encouraged to wear a sweater.

Meals, Refreshment Breaks

Delegates are on their own for lunch. Refreshment breaks will be served in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be in writing and received prior to October 3, 2017. There will be a $50 administration fee applied to all cancellations until October 3, 2017. No refunds will be issued after this date.

Please note that there are no refunds granted for any reason past the October 3rd date. This includes reasons such as weather, injury, illness, or any other unforeseen event. If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to send a substitute in your place.


The Autism Awareness Centre Bookstore will be open throughout the conference.



Download the Saskatoon Conference Flyer »


Download the Saskatoon Conference Brochure »

Autism Awareness Centre Inc.

To Register by Phone or Email Or For Books and Resources:

Maureen Bennie:
Phone: 403-640-2710
Toll Free: 1-866-724-2224

To Display a Product or Service at an AACI Event

Maureen Bennie:
Phone: 403-640-2710

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