ACT's Archived News

“I’m going to be a video game designer!”- Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World

Posted February 23, 2018

Return to Community Events listing

Friday, February 23
9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Mary Winspear Centre
2243 Beacon Avenue

  • ACT - Autism Community Training
  • 604-205-5467
  • $200 - $300

Pamela Crooke, Director of the Social Thinking Training and Speakers Collaborative will join ACT in beautiful Sidney on Vancouver Island to deliver training on transitioning to adulthood, thanks to sponsorship from Dwyer Tax Law.

Adolescence, angst, and apathy – the characteristics routinely used to describe teens and young adults who yearn for independence, but often have no plan for getting there. Developmentally, this time is called the “Transition to Adulthood”. Teams develop plans, outline trajectories, and write goals to facilitate this process. We teach the importance of both academic and social skills, but at the end of the day it’s not uncommon to hear, “No thanks, I’m just gonna design video games so I don’t really need to learn that other stuff.” 

Interestingly, around the globe, the love affair between the teenager and the field of video game design poses a stumbling block to more realistic planning and preparation for the social demands of the adult world. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are “bright” with strong language skills.

This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals (e.g., teachers, counsellors, psychologists, speech language pathologists) prepare for – and respond to – this transition. We will explore the more nuanced expectations that come with the emergence into adulthood, including strategies to help individuals develop a more mature social mindset. 

The day is organized to address some of the most common statements from our tweens/teens and young adults including:

  • “I just want to have a friend.” (Preferably a boy/girlfriend!
  • “I saw a video on YouTube, so I got this.
  • “I already know how to hang out, I just don’t know what to say.”
  • “I thought the person just wanted to hang out (not take advantage of me).”
  • “My parents are driving me nuts!”
  • “I know what to do, but it stresses me out.”

We will use the research related to friendships, anxiety, social communication, and perspective taking to teach concrete strategies for:

  • Becoming comfortable with discomfort  
  • Understanding the levels of friendship and approachability
  • Encouraging self awareness and accountability
  • Understanding stress and anxiety (the good, the bad, and the roadblocks)
  • Motivation and grit (the good 4 letter word) 

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the impact that social learning challenges have on academics and relationship building during the teen/young adult years.
  2. Discuss how the Cascade of Social Attention relates to styles of learning (concrete vs. nuanced based).
  3. Explain how anxiety can be a “stop sign” in an individual’s ability to use Social Thinking and related skills.
  4. Explain how a student can learn to identify and prioritize his or her own treatment* goals.

*Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use 3:30of social skills and social thinking.

For more information and to register, visit:

Return to Community Events listing