Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Rules in Social Situations

The Hidden Curriculum refers to the set of rules or guidelines that are often not directly taught but are assumed to be known (Garrett, 1984; Hemmings, 2000; Jackson, 1968; Kanpol, 1989). This curriculum contains items that impact social interactions, school performance, and sometimes health and well-being.

The curriculum also includes unspoken rules, slang, metaphors, body language etc. While this information may be intuitive for neurotypical individuals, but it is not those with autism or other special needs. This session includes practical tips for teaching these hidden social needs to children and to adults and stresses the importance of making these a part of everyday life.

Objectives:

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • define the hidden curriculum
  • explain the hidden curriculum’s applicability to school, community, and home
  • identify hidden curriculum areas and items across preschool, middle school, high school, and adulthood


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Brenda Smith-Myles
BRENDA SMITH MYLES, PH.D. is a consultant with the Ziggurat Group and Chief Program Officer for the Autism Society of America. Dr. Myles is the recipient of the 2004 Autism Society of America's Outstanding Professional Award and the 2006 Princeton Fellowship Award. She has written numerous articles and books on Asperger Syndrome and autism including Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns (with Southwick) and Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Solutions for School Success (with Adreon). The latter is the winner of the Autism Society of America's Outstanding Literary Work. Brenda has made over 500 presentations all over the world, written more than 150 articles and books on autism and Asperger Syndrome, and served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee. She is on the National Institute of Mental Health's Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee's Strategic Planning Consortium and the Autism Society of America's Panel of Professional Advisors. Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Organization for Autism Research and Maap Services Inc. In addition, she was recently acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world from 1997 to 2004.

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