In hindsight, many parents report that social problems began to surface in preschool. Those early signs become more apparent in elementary school. Asperger’s Disorder children will either be withdrawn from social interactions, preferring to stay by themselves, or quite the opposite, where they are intrusive, loud, relentless, and annoying to their peers. Sadly, their unusual manner of interacting is easy to observe, and their peers quickly avoid them. The failure to develop friendships is often the deciding factor in parents seeking an evaluation.
The Asperger’s Disorder child cannot sustain friendships, partially due to his rigid insistence of rules and his inflexibility in play. He is strictly bound to the rules and will not forgive cheating by his peers. He tattles on his classmates and is oblivious to the social code of not snitching on your peers. His poor motor skills make him low on the list of playmates for games. His need for sameness may become more apparent and his special interests become more developed. As he becomes more knowledgeable about his special interest, his monologues become longer and he is unable to have reciprocal conversations. His advanced vocabulary and knowledge continue to impress adults but alienates peers who do not understand him.