Children with autism or aspergers skipping a grade?

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

This is a strange predicament I find myself in. My son is about to turn 5 this week. He was diagnosed with classic autism several years ago. He has been progressing very well since then, to the degree that he no longer qualifies for special services of any kind. He will be going into a regular classroom. He has been in preschool for two years and I have been working with him at home since he was two years old as well. Academically, he is advanced compared to some children his age. That is to say, conservatively, he is reading at the high end of second grade level and is doing the same math I am teaching my third grader. We live in a district where half of the children do not know their alphabet going into kindergarten and many of the parents use the all-day program because they need it as childcare. Socially, he has made huge strides, to where people frequently tell me they would never even guess he has autism. Because of the academics and school demographics, along with his age (being one of the older kids in his grade anyway) I would like him to skip kindergarten. Any thoughts?

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Alison - posted on 11/21/2011

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I am only responding to this on a personal level. My son is also on the spectrum can read on a third grade level, do math too and because of the school district changing the cut off date, he missed one year of preschool and went into kindergarten. Even though he can do the work and is ahead of them in a lots of ways, he more socially immature and physically littler than many of his peers. And he struggles with staying on task.
I think it's better for him to be one of the older kids and I'm most likely going to hold him back next year. (Even though his teacher feels that he could do 1st grade. I don't)

And I talked to a handful of specialists about this and they all say it's better for the kids, especially boys, to be the older ones in the class and this is even more so if they have delays.

Good luck.

Jodi - posted on 11/21/2011

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i'm in this situation right now. my son just started kindergarten and already seems to be bored with it- to the point where he's acting up in class (refusing to do work and such). he's only in half day kindergarten because he still gets 8 hours with his TSS and being around kids all day (having to keep it together) would where him out. that said, he's reading at a third grade level, doing math at a first grade level and what he doesn't know, he picks up very quickly.

were you able to work something out with your son?

Katherine - posted on 03/23/2011

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There you go, Stacy has the perfect solution. Because the age gap is going to make a HUGE difference in the long run. His friends will be getting their license, he won't..his friends will be doing a lot of things he won't be doing.

Stacy - posted on 03/23/2011

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I would talk with the principal and his teachers and see what they advise. We were in a similar situation - DS is in kinder but tested into 1st grade. He is Aspergers, tho, and does have trouble relating to peers. We came to a compromise with the school - he stays in kinder for most classes (especially the social opportunities like lunch and recess), and he is pulled out for 1st grade reading and math. It's worked out super well this year, he hasn't been bored at all.

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