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Dr. Brenda Smith Myles
World-renowned Autism Expert, Researcher, Consultant, Author, Former Professor and International Speaker 
Brenda_Smith_Myles Autism
Dr. Brenda Smith Myles

World-renowned Autism Expert, Researcher, Consultant, Author, Former Professor and International Speaker  


Meltdowns: Understanding and Preventing These Distressed Behaviours

In this presentation, you will learn about:  

  • How Individuals on the autism have a unique neurology and it is essential that it is understood by professionals.

  • How autistic people have limitless potential, but that potential is dependent on what we teach.   

  • How meltdowns are NOT intentional behaviour.

  • How to support autistic learners.

  • How autistic people and those who support them must work collaboratively in ensure positive outcomes.

Self-regulation challenges are among the most frequently observed behaviours in autistic children and youth.


Research shows a link between the autistic neurology and these behaviours, highlighting the need to understand these challenges and teach in meaningful strategies.


The self-regulation experienced by individuals with ASD may manifest itself in many ways, but it sometimes leads to meltdowns.


This escalating sequence follows a three-stage cycle: (a) rumbling, (b) rage, and (c) recovery.


This sequence can be problematic as many children and youth with ASD often endure the cycle without understanding their autism.


During this session, you will also be introduced to the neurology of meltdowns. 


In addition, you will learn about this cycle and the evidence-based strategies that can be used at each stage.


In addition, you will leave this presentation with strategies to prevent meltdowns.


It is important that those who work and live with autistic individuals and autistic individuals, themselves, understand the cycle of meltdowns as well as interventions that can be used during this cycle.

At the end of the session, you will have learned:

  • How to Identify the cycle of meltdowns

  • How to describe strategies that can be used at each of the three stages

  • How to discuss how to avoid the cycle of meltdowns


During this session, you will learn...


  • An overview of the misunderstanding about the neurology of ASD and meltdowns.

  • An understanding of the neurology of ASD and why regulation skills need to be taught to autistic learners.

  • How Meltdowns are not intentional behaviour.

  • How there are three stages to a meltdown.

  • The indicators for each stage and practical interventions that are effective.

  • How prevention strategies are one of the best ways to support autistic learners who experience meltdowns.

  • The essential skills to prevent meltdowns, such as communication, problem solving, and recognizing interoception skills in self.

  • Rumbling Stage strategies, that include antiseptic bouncing, home base, self-calming, and “just walk and don’t talk”.

  • Rage Stage interventions that include developing a plan, “developing a graceful exit,” and environmental structures.

  • Recovery Stage interventions, including structuring the environment for success, redirection while providing space, and relaxation strategies.

  • The role of positive child/adult relationships in preventing meltdowns.

  • Practical strategies to enhance the relationship will be shared.

Who is this presentation for? 

This presentation will interest parents of autistic children and adults and professionals working with children, teens and adults. 



Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., is formerly a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas.


She is the recipient of the following awards: 


  • 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 Award

  • Two-time recipient of the Council for Exceptional Children Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award


She served as the editor of Intervention in School and Clinic, the third largest journal in special education.


Brenda has been a member of the editorial board of several journals, including Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Remedial and Special Education, and Autism: The International Journal of Research.


Brenda has made over 3000 presentations all over the world and written more than 300 articles and books on ASD.


In addition, she collaborated with the three US-based organizations who identified evidenced based practices for individuals with autism.


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.

She is  also the author of the following books: 

Aspy, R., Grossman, B. G., Myles, B. S., & Henry, S. A. (2016). FB A to Z: Functional behavior and intervention plans for individuals with ASD. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Boutot, E. A., & Myles, B. S. (2010). Autism spectrum disorders: Foundations, characteristics, and effective strategies. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.


Gagnon, E., & Myles, B. S. (1999). This Is Asperger Syndrome. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Gagnon, E., & Myles, B. S. (2016). The Power Card Strategy 2.0: Using special interests to motivate children and youth with autism spectrum disorder. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Grossman, B. G., Aspy, R., & Myles, B. S. (2010). Interdisciplinary evaluation of autism spectrum disorders: From diagnosis through program planning. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing. 


Henry, S. A., & Myles, B. S. (2013). The Comprehensive Autism Planning Systems (CAPS) for individuals with Asperger Syndrome, autism and related disabilities: Integrating best practices throughout the student’s day. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Hudson, J., & Myles, B. S. (2007). Starting points: The basics of understanding and supporting children and youth with Asperger Syndrome. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Myles, B. S. (2005). Children and youth with Asperger Syndrome: Strategies for success in inclusive settings. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.


Myles, B. S., & Adreon, D. (2001). Asperger Syndrome and adolescence: Practical solutions for school success. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Myles, B. S., Adreon, D., & Gitlitz, D. (2006). Simple strategies that work! Helpful hints for all educators of students with Asperger Syndrome, high-functioning autism, and related disabilities. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Myles, B. S., Adreon, D. A., Hagen, K., Holverstott, J., Hubbard, A., Smith, S. M., & Trautman, M. (2005). Life journey through autism: An educator’s guide to Asperger Syndrome. Arlington, VA: Organization for Autism Research.


Myles, B. S., & Aspy, R. (2016). High-functioning autism and difficult moments: Practical solutions for meltdowns. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.


Myles, B. S., Aspy, R., Mataya, K., & Shaffer, H. (2018). Excelling With Autism : Obtaining Critical Mass Using Deliberate Practice 


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