We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

13 March 2010

How to make friends and influence four year olds

Yesterday was parents day at the school nursery and I was pleased to learn that my four year old daughter is doing very well academically, that her numeracy skills are particularly good for her age, phew! Her social skills however are still in need of refinement. For instance, she likes to herd all of her classmates, much like our australian shepherd that we owned in America, nipping their ankles, or rather, pinching their elbows if they don't comply. According to her teacher she has improved greatly since September, but she still likes everyone to adapt to her games, her needs etc, and really can't understand why they won't do it.

When the subject of asperger's was brought up to her teacher, her teacher felt it was more learned behaviour rather than an asd. I know girls are typically harder to diagnose, and often don't get an asperger's diagnosis, but i can see so many similar traits to my son in her that I know we may be in for some challenges. Her obsessions, the way she dictates rather than cooperates, the meltdowns, and certain other personal issues that scream autistic spectrum to me. Not everything though.

She has learned that her after school treat of sweets, or crisps, or grapes etc, will increase her popularity if she shares it around. It is great that she's learned to share and understands a bit about how friendship works. She has a group of reception kids that she regularly 'hangs out' with while we wait to pick up her brother. The worrying aspect for me is I have already noticed that the kids have come to expect something from her, and some days she just doesn't feel like sharing. Some days they take all of her sweets. I've already informed one girl that its polite to ask first and say thank you after. One of my friends has a ten year old daughter, not on the spectrum who also suffers similarly, in that she'll give everything away if it will please those around her, but often they just take it and run. I suppose thats a part of childhood. I can see the difference in my children, and perhaps in aspie girls versus aspie boys as my daughter is miles ahead of where my son was at this age socially, although she's still a bit behind her peers. She's no wallflower though, and has no trouble letting someone know when she's had enough, and that combined with a little sweet talking, will hopefully get her through and maybe a little easier than my son's school journey.


Barbara said...

It's sad that kids need to share to be accepted. Have you spoken to the teacher about this so they can keep an eye out and make sure that all of her sweets aren't being taken.


Franny Nom dePlume said...

Hi Barbara, it is one way she seems to have discovered, whereas my older aspie son still isn't very willing to share. It happens after school while we wait in the school yard, so I have to be the monitor of it.