Asperger’s Syndrome and Kindergarten

When the hurdle of preschool is overcome, parents may feel confident that their youngster will be well equipped to also handle kindergarten. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that the main reason why the child was able to do well in preschool is the fact that they, as parent advocates, took the initiative to work with the teachers and playground supervisors to create an environment for the child in which she or he could thrive.

Once kindergarten comes around, it is tempting to assume that all is well and the child requires no further help. In addition, there is the back of the mind hope that the child is now somehow in control of whatever effects Asperger’s Syndrome is having and therefore no further intervention is required by the parents.

A Watershed Moment

When the hurdle of preschool is overcome, parents may feel confident that their youngster will be well equipped to also handle kindergarten. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that the main reason why the child was able to do well in preschool is the fact that they, as parent advocates, took the initiative to work with the teachers and playground supervisors to create an environment for the child in which she or he could thrive.

Once kindergarten comes around, it is tempting to assume that all is well and the child requires no further help. In addition, there is the back of the mind hope that the child is now somehow in control of whatever effects Aspergers Syndrome is having and therefore no further intervention is required by the parents.

A Watershed Moment

Kindergarten for children with Aspergers Syndrome is therefore usually one of the most unpleasant experiences while for parents it is the watershed moment that alerts them to the fact that Aspergers Syndrome is a forever diagnosis and not something that comes and goes. In this sense, kindergarten is a most important part in the life of a family where Aspergers Syndrome has been diagnosed.

On the other hand, for the child whose parents realize early on that the diagnosis will not go away, this might be a most useful school year to help them prepare for the years that lie ahead.

As the child deals with Aspergers Syndrome on a daily basis while also maturing physically and socially, the teacher must be made aware that environmental stresses may result in adverse reactions to the learning environment. If not nipped in the bud, no amount of discipline will help the child to reverse course and integrate well into the classroom setting.

Apathy

Instead, the child may actually experience the very first bouts of apathy that are closely related to the stress felt by those with Aspergers Syndrome. It cannot be overcome simply by shaping up and making a good effort, but instead it requires the trained touch of a teacher who has the power to keep the learning environment friendly for the person with Aspergers Syndrome.

Perhaps the single most important aspect of this attempt rests in the fact that children with Aspergers Syndrome are quickly and easily overwhelmed and kindergarten is a lesson in change and social interaction that thrives on a large volume of information being passed on quickly.

Teachers need to understand that a child with Aspergers Syndrome can only comprehend and deal with a limited amount of input. As such, they require more time with transitions and even though speed is often of the essence, a child with Aspergers Syndrome simply cannot work well in such an environment.

On the other hand, if a child can anticipate the change and actually work it into a routine, then it presents little problem. Skilled kindergarten teachers, and those who prepare well for their classes, have little problem with keeping on track and helping children with Aspergers Syndrome anticipate and plan for change.