Meltdowns, Social Rules, and Structure: Practical Solutions from Brenda Smith Myles

Training Description

Session 1: Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Rules in Social SituationsApril 17, 2024 4-6pm
The Hidden Curriculum — the set of rules or guidelines that are often not directly taught but are assumed to be known—may not be intuitive for autistic people. This session includes why the hidden curriculum is difficult for autistic learners and 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.

Session 2: Meltdowns in Autistic Individuals April 24, 2024 4-6pm
The self-regulation challenges experienced by autistic individuals may manifest themselves in many ways, but they sometimes lead to meltdowns. This escalating sequence follows a three-stage cycle: (a) rumbling, (b) rage, and (c) recovery. This session will overview the cycle and discuss evidence-based strategies that can be used at each stage as well as the neurology of meltdowns. In addition, prevention strategies will be discussed.

­Session 3: Let’s Make it Easier: Structuring the Day for Success for the Autistic Student May 1, 2024 4-6pm
Most autistic individuals benefit when instruction matches their neurology. This session will describe how to remove obstacles to learning by structuring the school day for success. Emphasis will be placed on the various supports and strategies that address communication, regulation/anxiety, social skills, and academics and are applicable to students across grades.

These sessions are standalone but complementary. Participants are encouraged to attend all sessions if possible.

Training Objectives

  1. Define and explain the hidden curriculum’s applicability to school, community, and home
  2. Describe strategies that can be used at the three stages of meltdown
  3. Discuss evidence-based supports and strategies that support communication, regulation/anxiety, social skills, and academics for autistic learners

About the Presenter

Brenda Smith Myles Ph.D., formerly, a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas, is the recipient of the 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, and two-time recipient of the Council for Exceptional Children Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. Brenda has made over 3000 presentations all over the world and written more than 300 articles and books on 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.


April 17, 2024
April 24, 2024
May 1, 2024
All sessions are online via Zoom.

Target Audience

Educators, Administrators, SLPs, OTs, PTs, & Family Members


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. To request accommodations or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Dr. Danielle Liso at 352-265-2241 or


Danielle Liso

Additional Information

  • Regional Trainings are hosted by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, through the Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA), a program funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, K-12 Public Schools, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.
  • Be sure to contact your ESE District Staff or Staff Development Contact to determine the process for receiving in-service.