5 year old son gets upset at school when asked to transition - FamilyEducation
5 year old son gets upset at school when asked to transition
05/28/2009 at 13:28 PM

My five year old son exhibits a hard time dealing with transitioning from what he is doing to start something else on some days. (he loves learning) When he is having one of those days he gets very upset. He mainly cries and has started talking back. He really is out of character when this happens. Can having an autistic child in the class be too overwhelming and contributing to this? What if the staff is not equipped with how to balance the personalities. They are not certified in this area. I questioned the owner of the center did she think that the my son was on target and prepared for Kindergarten and she said yes, she thinks so, but now his teacher and I have a strained communication since I asked. I did not want it to be a question of her abilities but it came up while specifically talking about another subject matter, my sons crying. I just go on our own senses in what he talks about and knows. He loves the educational sites I guide him to, but at school, no computers and that's fine, but he is in my belief needing more stimulation now. We are readying him for kindergarten and he will be leaving this preschool to a more homeschooled based until school starts in September. I just wanted some feedback and help with the situation of the crying and can other children,no matter their abilities, truly generate certain behaviors that is out of sorts for another child and whats the best way to handle it all. OH, and the teacher has told the class that the autisic child does think differently in a way that did not seem to bother my son. So I am glad she explained autism to help the kids understand.

Every kid is different. I think one child out of the bunch that has special needs is not going to directly influence your child in a negative way. In fact, the teacher shld teach the other children to show tolerance and respect towards this autistic child, and make it a learning experience for them. It is possible, I suppose, that your son cld be picking up certain behaviors from this child, but that cld be the case w/ any child. Some kids pick up bad words, others aggressive tendencies. Your child may just be an anxious kid. I think the more exposure to school, the better. It's your job to reassure your child that everything's going to be ok. Talk to the teacher, and rule out any other possible problems. It's a shame that the parent/teacher relationship is strained, but you still have a right to know what's going on w/ your child. Can you observe him in the classroom? Also, at home, work w/ your son doing many different activities. Take him different places and see how he does transitioning. If he's ok at home, maybe it's a problem at school. Try to build up your son's confidence by always praising him. This will make him feel more comfortable w/ himself and his surroundings. Always reassure him, but give him that space to explore things on his own. I hope my suggestions help. Homeschooling is good, but in my opinion w/ your son, if he's anxious about transitioning to new situations, it'll be difficult to build up his confidence if he's always in his comfort zone. If you do homeschool, make sure you expose your son to many outside experiences and also other children his age who he can socialize w/ and learn from as well.

Thank You very much for taking the time to help me in this matter. Your points are well taken and I will be enrolling him in public school. I will also make it a point that we as a family do more outdoorsy things and include others his age and just a variety of other experiences for him. Again, Thank You.

I am a preschool teacher and have 12 years experience working with children your sons age. Transition time can be very difficult for a lot of children. I have found that you always give the children a count down. 10 more minutes until clean up, 5 more minutes, 2 more minute, ok clean up time. Use and song or poem while transitioning. Use this everyday so they automatically know whats coming next. Another thing that is very useful is a daily schedule. Children will transition more easily if they know whats coming next. Ask them, after clean up, what do we do next? They will know after just a few weeks and will feel more in control. Use this with every transition. Give a warning and whats next. It works and helps children look forward to the next activity instead of being anxious.I hope this helps.