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Leadership Presentation tHE HIDDEN CURRICULzUM Spec . Ed. Part 2. S. Van Weert. Ice breaker……. The Artist Game. Instructions:. Take a piece of paper and a pencil. In 5 minutes you must draw a picture that conveys who you are without writing any words or numbers.

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ice breaker

Ice breaker……..

The Artist Game

  • Take a piece of paper and a pencil.
  • In 5 minutes you must draw a picture that conveys who you are without writing any words or numbers.
  • At the end of 5 minutes the host will collect the pictures and arrange them in a pile.
  • The host will show the pictures to your group one at a time and have you try to guess who drew it.
  • Allow each artist to explain how their picture clearly conveys who they are.
  • Icebreaker: The Artist Game
  • Who is neurotypical?
  • What is not neurotypical?
  • What don’t they get?
  • Why don’t they get it?
  • Where does it affect them?
  • Can we see through their eyes?
  • Who can make a difference?
  • Laws of the jungle p.67
  • Interactive Activity: a. others b. friends c.new things
are you neurotypical


your brain can seamlessly and simultaneously survey the “unwritten rules” of every environment and every person you encounter and make decisions about how to proceed successfully within a given context


Do you have a good working, unconscious social navigating system…a social navigation GPS? If you do, you have one of the main keys of a skill set, i.e.,


that was explicit instruction

That was explicit instruction…

Although social skills require explicit instruction, with some coaching from parent and teachers we take it for granted that we can “get it” or at least figure it out from signals people may send us if we goof up….

there are people among us who have
There are people among us who have:
  • Exceptionally strong cognitive and language skills
  • Do not possess the intuitive ability to adjust socially to the unspoken rules and emotions of everyday environment
why don t they get
Why don’t they get….
  • Idioms-
  • “A chip on your shoulder”(you feel defensive)
  • “Bite your tongue”(avoid talking)
  • “Chew someone out”(verbally scold)
  • “Crack someone up”(make someone laugh)
  • “Cut to the chase”(get to the point)
  • Slang-
  • “Drive someone up the wall”
  • “Dressed to kill”
  • “Hit the books”
  • “Ants in your pants”
  • “Glued to your seat”

…… ???

and other things like
And other things like:

What not to say or do in conversations, relationships, telling jokes, dress…


Because a person with social cognitive deficit interprets language literally…and as a consequence oftens breaks the unwritten rules without realizing it….but

we are surrounded on a daily basis with unstated rules and customs known as
“We are surrounded on a daily basis with unstated rules and customs”…known as

“The Hidden Curriculum”

  • and…
  • consequences of breaking the rules are confusing and painful
  • lead to social isolation and frustration for these people in our midst.
the book called
The book called…
  • “The Hidden Curriculum-Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations”

By: Brenda Myles….and includes a DVD with the same name

the impact of the hidden curriculum is in the unwritten culture of
The impact of the Hidden Curriculum is in the unwritten culture of:


2. Community

3. Workplace

in particular
In particular:

Youth with social-cognitive challenges which affect their ability to function in the everyday world are on the Autism Spectrum.

  • This leads to the complexity of dating relationships which are also surrounded by a hidden curriculum. Teens on the autism spectrum will play it safe by making a deliberate choice to stay within the comfort zone of their acquired expertise and socialize only with people who have similar interests, such as in the case of Temple Grandin….
safe person
Safe Person

The first thing an ASD person needs is a skill set of knowing who is a safe person to ask and the types of questions to ask.

A safe person would be someone who has these characteristics:

Comprehensive list on page 19-20 in “The Hidden Curriculum”

  • 1.Understands the individual’s characteristics and perspective.
  • 2. Respects the individual.
  • 3. Able to listen without interrupting and judging.
  • 4. Knows when to listen and when to offer advice.
  • 5. Able to take the other person’s perspective.
  • 6. Able to problem solve without engaging in a power struggle. (Note: This can be a trap when a student is set against authority as a result of interpreting others literally)
  • 7. Knows when to maintain a flat, matter-of-fact facial expression and when to be animated.
  • 8. Understands the triggers and behaviors that may lead to a tantrum, rage or meltdown.

10. Able to set boundaries, when necessary

In addition, the person seeking help from the safe person must learn not to argue with the advice/clarification offered by the safe person. (Mayer, 2004)

a good way to help is by
A good way to help is by:
  • Teaching social behavior explicitly through:
  • Social Stories p.27
  • Social Autopsies p.30
  • Social Narratives p.27
  • Also by reviewing lists of curriculum items: (p.43-66)
  • Examples:
  • airplane trips, bathroom rules, birthday parties, clothing, eating, friendship, life skills, school, swimming pool, & social situations.
teaching the laws of the jungle
Teaching the “Laws of the Jungle”:
  • Some ASD Rules to live by: p.67 The Hidden Curriculum
  • 1. Treat others with respect.
  • 2. Take responsibility for your actions.
  • 3. Wait, wait, wait.
  • 4. Breaking the law is never a good idea, no matter what your reason is.
  • 5. Seek out an adult or safe person if you are hurt or cannot handle a certain situation.
  • 6.Take care of other people’s property as well as you take care of your own.
  • 7. Control your anger
  • Remove cords from electrical sockets by holding the plug and pulling gently.
when teaching the hidden curriculum to asd people
When teaching the Hidden Curriculum to ASD people…

Take nothing for Granted& handle

with care.

The End.

  • Myles, B.S. (2004)The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations, Autism Asperger Publishing Co.., Shawnee Mission, KS 66283-0173
  • Bellini, S. (2003) Making and keeping friends: A model for social skills instruction. Indiana Resource Centre for Autism Reporter, 8(3),1-11
  • Winner, M.G. (2000). Inside out: What makes a person with social cognitive deficits tick? San Jose, CA: Author
  • Levine, M. Dr. (2002) Educational Care: A system for understanding and helping children with learning differences, Educators Publishing Service, Cambridge and Toronto, Chapter 9, p. 304-5, The Misinterpreted Child.
  • Asher, S.R., and J.D. Coie, eds. Peer Rejection in Childhood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. This collection of essays focuses on research into children who are rejected by their peers. |There are useful reviews of specific social skills and their roles as well as papers on social skill training methods.