APE – the Asperger Parenting Experience

The Life and Times of one Asperger Parent

Battling with Preschool

Posted by Patrick on 4 October 2007

My Aspie son is 4, and is in his second year of preschool.  We enrolled him in a preschool that is actually part of the elementary school in our district so that he could get used to going to an actual school instead of some other place that, once he gets to be kindergarten age, he wouldn’t go anymore.  We were thinking at that time (which was before we learned about his condition) that it’d be a good thing to do, and so far that has been the case.  Now that we’ve learned that our older son is an Aspie, we are glad that he is in the exact same preschool classroom as last year with a lot of the same kids as last year, and that next school year he will be going to the same school but in a (gasp!) different room.

Last year, he was seemingly shy and a little bit detached from the rest of the class.  Everyone thought that was just him exhibiting some shyness and some discomfort with being away from home and from his mother because it was truly his first time outside the care of a parent.  This year, after spending a summer of growth in Japan, he is incessantly talkative and is actually communicating with the other students, albeit he often tries to talk to them in Japanese and they have no idea what he’s saying.

The way Asperger’s manifests itself in our son is that he is generally unaware of situational context.  Now, a lot of 4-year olds are the same way to a degree, but with him it is a constant struggle for him to do such simple things as lower his voice, stop talking, stop playing when it’s time to be serious, or even listen when he’s being told what to do.  It’s one of those things that is starting to wear thin at the preschool, where he is starting to develop a less-than-ideal pattern of behavior in class.  So, we’ve gone from this bashful, quiet yet slightly inattentive 3-year old child to this rambunctious, randomly loud, excitable 4-year old with a penchant for blowing raspberries at the other kids when he either doesn’t know what to say (in English) or doesn’t like what they’re doing.  And if someone tells him to stop what he’s doing too many times or in a too-strong voice, you might as well have just fried the side of his head on a griddle.

Here in the Denver area, there’s outreach available.  We’re fortunate to have a school district (Littleton Public Schools) that provides developmental screenings for *free* and then they provide guidance, coaching and referrals to appropriate counseling and developmental psychology folks as well as classes for the parents to learn how to cope/handle/deal/manage/remain sane with an especially young Aspie.

So, Aspie parents, have you had the school battles?  And what are you finding is effective to curb behavior which you want to reserve for at home or completely eliminate?  You’re welcome to submit via the contact form below and I will post your submission once I moderate it.



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