Children with Asperger’s Disorder are emotionally and socially delayed at a minimum of three years. Behaviors their peers have outgrown persist in Asperger’s Disorder children well beyond what is expected. This immaturity may lead parents to consider having their child repeat a grade in order to give him time to catch up to his classmates. This may sound good in theory, but in reality, it does not work and is not supported by research.
Holding a child back for a year might work if he were evenly delayed one year in all areas. However, Asperger’s Disorder children have very scattered emotional development. A child may have the vocabulary of adult, the frustration tolerance of a three-year-old, and the social skills of a second-grade student. Given the large gaps in emotional maturity, there is no one grade level that will even the playing field for the Asperger’s Disorder child.
Children do not catch up or outgrow their symptoms throughout their childhood, much less in one school year. Holding an Asperger’s Disorder child back one year fails to bring about emotional growth. The best solution is to seek an IEP or Section 504.