PlayWorthy: Hidden Curriculum on the Go


Created by Asperger Autism Publishing Company
Reviewed by Becky Palmer-Scott

It can be reasonably argued that success in life, or lack of it, is not so much a factor of educational achievement as it is of social skills. In this arena, learning from experience can be disastrous, since saying or doing something awkward or inappropriate can cause a person to be ostracized.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to anticipate or prevent every faux pas that someone can make. And giving uncalled-for social advice to an individual can seem presumptuous and condescending.

The AAPC (Asperger Autism Publishing Company) has two apps to help, one for kids and one for teens and adults. Highly rated, the apps are called “Hidden Curriculum On the Go,” and they list the unwritten social rules that most people naturally pick up on but which the learning disabled often do not. Tips are listed one per page and users can scroll through them. If desired, users can save the tips in a “Favorites” list or e-mail them.

hidden curriculumExamples for kids include “Fair means that everyone gets what everyone needs. It does not mean that everyone gets the same thing. Equal is when everyone gets the same thing. Fair is when everyone gets what he or she needs,” and “It is not a good idea to say every single thing you think. It might hurt people’s feelings.”

The app for adolescents and adults includes the same types of tips, and also explains how to speak to police, rules about borrowing money, social conventions in dating, and other situations faced by teens and adults. For example, “If you are having a dinner date with a member of the opposite sex, please know that ‘having dessert’ can be a reference to having sex,” and “Only borrow money from friends and only do so when absolutely necessary. Then pay your friend back as soon as possible.”

Intentionally or not, some tips are humorous, which makes reading them fun. One adult tip states, “When filling out forms, ‘sex’ refers to gender. It does not refer to how often. Do not fill in a number. Just check a box: M for Male or F for Female (not M for Many Times or F for Few Times).”

There are about 90 tips for kids and 110 for adults. The tips are good conversation starters or could be suggested reading for students during free time in class. As of this writing the apps are only available on iOS devices such as iPads, iPods, and iPhones.

Do you know of good learning games you would like to tell others about? Write to our editor at


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