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How to Find a Good Preschool for a Child With Asperger's Syndrome

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If you have a child with Asperger's and you want to arrange for them to be enrolled in a preschool, then you should take the steps outlined here to ensure that the preschool you choose for them is suitable for their needs.

Find staff who are knowledgeable about Asperger's Syndrome

Because Asperger's Syndrome is a relatively mild form of autism, you do not necessarily have to place your child in a childcare facility that caters specifically to children who have this condition. However, it could be very beneficial to pick a preschool for your daughter or son that employs individuals who are familiar with Asperger's Syndrome. The reason for this is as follows; if the staff members at the preschool understand the nature of this condition, they will be better able to support your child and will be less likely to react in a negative or unhelpful manner when your child displays some of the more challenging characteristics associated with their condition.

For example, like many children who have this condition, your child may be highly resistant to making any changes to their normal routine. In this case, it is important that the staff members at the childcare facility understand that this is a normal reaction for someone with Asperger's to have to change and that they must not get cross with your child when he or she expresses an unwillingness to alter their usual routine. Their ability to understand the impact that this condition has on your child's behaviour, and to stay calm and kind when your child is being challenging, will ensure that your child's Asperger's-related outbursts do not escalate and result in them having to be sent home.

Pick a preschool that is prepared to accommodate your child

It is also worthwhile looking for a preschool that is willing to modify their usual approach to childcare and education, in order to accommodate the unique needs that your child has as a result of having Asperger's Syndrome.

For example, they should be willing to let your child opt out of group activities occasionally, on days when he or she is experiencing stress at the prospect of socialising because of their condition. Likewise, they should be happy to let your child follow a specific routine in regards to the way in which they eat their lunch or the way that they play with their toys (as long as those routines are not harmful or very disruptive). By doing this, the staff members at the childcare facility will help your child to feel secure and relaxed enough to absorb the things that they need to learn (like the alphabet, counting and other educational topics).