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Brenda Smith Myles

Introduction to the Hidden Curriculum – Part 1

Presented By:
Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D.
November 13, 2012

Deficits in social skills or social competence is one of three primary characteristics of those individuals identified with ASD.   The social component of this disorder is often forgotten, and addressed infrequently until school performance is impacted.  Social skills are those skills we need to facilitate interactions and communication with others.  Examples of social skills taught within the framework of the Hidden Curriculum might include: turn-taking in play and in conversation, reading someone else’s body language, or understanding another person’s perspective.  This presentation will address the hidden curriculum and its applicability to individuals on the autism spectrum. The hidden curriculum is comprised of items that are not typically taught to neurotypical children and youth, but are assumed and expected knowledge. Despite not being directly taught, the hidden curriculum is extremely important. Violation of hidden curriculum rules can have an adverse affect on school performance, physical well-being and how well a student/child is able to positively relate to the community and home.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:
1. Define the hidden curriculum.
2. Explain the hidden curriculum's applicability to school, community, and home.
3. Identify hidden curriculum areas and items across preschool, middle school, high school, and adulthood.


Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., international speaker and consultant for the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence, is the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, and the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Developmental Disabilities Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. Brenda has made over 500 presentations all over the world and written more than 150 articles and books on ASD including Asperger’s Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns (with Southwick) and The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated rules in Social Situations. In addition, she served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee and was on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium. Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Organization for Autism Research, ASTEP – Asperger’s Syndrome Training and Education Program, and the Education and Treatment Services Project for Military Dependent Children with Autism. In addition, 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.