Parents often suspect that their child is different from other children long before they receive the diagnosis of Asperger’s Disorder. Parents of Asperger’s Disorder children often recall that their child was displaying symptoms as early as preschool. Yet it is hard to come to terms with the idea that your child may have a disorder. It is common to try to minimize and normalize the symptoms your child is displaying. It is also easy to miss the early signs that surface.
Looking back, parents can recall that their Asperger’s Disorder child showed a noticeable preference for playing alone in preschool. When he did play with other children, he wanted to dominate the play. He was insistent on routine and showed exaggerated upset when changes occurred.
In elementary school, your child may appear to be different, immature, and unusual. An odd gaze, inability to read social cues, poor conversation skills, and obsessive interest in a topic with a tendency to lecture about it are hallmark indicators of Asperger’s Disorder. Milder forms of Asperger’s Disorder may not surface until mid or late elementary school, when the inability to fit in with his peers cannot be ignored or explained away.