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My 4 year old son is gifted. We had his IQ tested a little while back so I now for sure know that he is. He has been reading and writing since he was 2. He now reads chapter books (like the lego ones with pictures). He really struggles socially though so I decided to put him in preschool but he's not doing so well. The homework he brings home is like tracing the letter A and the number 1 and he hates doing it and is so bored by it. I try to add to his homework by having him write words that start with "A" on his trace the letter A worksheets but that's boring to him too.

He is extremely stubborn and won't do anything unless it interests him and his interests can at times be very narrow. He also is having bad meltdowns when I take him to school and today he had to go to the office for misbehaving. I really think he's bored and under stimulated. I also think there is a high possibility he could have Aspergers.

I'm wondering if having him in preschool is even worth it? Should I just keep him home and "homeschool" him myself? If so- I don't even know where to begin! He obviously doesn't really need kindergarten (academically, at least- maybe socially he does). So I'm especially nervous about what I will do next year when he's suppose to go to school! I'm just at a loss I guess. I want to foster his giftedness while helping teach him social norms and just don't know how to!
 

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First, I would avoid preschools that have regular homework!!

I would find a playbased preschool and/or multi-age. Depending on which is more appealing to your DS and his learning style.

Preschool emphasis should be on social skills and PreK skills (write name). Also a good preschool will differentiate a bit by ability. I teach PreK and we do some academics, but they game based/exploration/hands-on and we differentiate for kiddos (some kids still learning to hold pencils and others are writing/sounding out simple words) in a very gentle way- some kids will choose not to do any writing and that is OK with us. LOTS of exploration, play, science, open-ended activities and social skills.

Preschool should be lots of movement, songs, child-led choice, and socialization.
 

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A preschool with an academic focus and regular homework is not likely to be a good fit for a kid like yours. I agree with KCM ... look for a "developmental" or play-based preschool. See if that fits him better.

It still might not work out. My eldest went to a play-based preschool, and she just read novels during quiet play time. She disliked the social milieu, kept almost entirely to herself, made little eye contact and gradually became mute in group situations over the course of that year. I suppose she could have been tested and referred for therapy and all that, but I followed my instincts, pulled her out of preschool and supported her following her interests. I encouraged lots of creativity, physical and imaginative play, and didn't worry about diagnosing her or "schooling" her. She just needed to be the quirky little kid that she was. She blossomed, learned like crazy, developed all sorts of hobbies and interests, and with time it became apparent that her social skills were much better suited to people aged 8 and up. It turns out that hanging out with 3- and 4-year-olds is not a necessary life skill.

So in our case, home and family were plenty. But if, depending on your take on his social needs, you feel some sort of exposure to groups of agemates is advisable, I'd look to a play-based preschool program.

Miranda
 

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Tritto. I would absolutely not send my child to a preschool that emphasized worksheets and gave homework. That's not developmentally appropriate, and of course he doesn't want to do it. At his age, he doesn't need an environment that is arranged like elementary school, because he's not ready to sit still and learn that way. So I wouldn't use that preschool, and I also wouldn't homeschool.

As was suggested, a play-based preschool might work well for him. Montessori preschools can also be good choices for gifted kids, as they emphasize learning through exploration. If he has Asperger's, he might be more comfortable in a highly structured program where he can more easily predict the routine. My daughter, who is PG with Asperger's, did very well in Montessori when she had a strong teacher. In either case, the most important skills are social, and learning activities should be very hands-on and play-like.

Since you are concerned about Asperger's and social skills, I'd definitely continue him in some sort of social setting. But, you might also consider calling your school district and request a special needs evaluation. They are required by law to evaluate any child over age 3 and provide certain services. After you request this in writing, the school district has 30 days to complete it. He does not have to be currently enrolled in public school, he just has to be over age 3. He may qualify for services like social skills training or developmental preschool through your school district even if he hasn't been diagnosed by a medical doctor yet. And, have you talked to a doctor about your concerns about Asperger's? Getting the right sort of therapy in place early can really impact social skills, but you may not have easy or affordable access to therapy without a medical dx.
 
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My 4 year old son is gifted. We had his IQ tested a little while back so I now for sure know that he is. He has been reading and writing since he was 2. He now reads chapter books (like the lego ones with pictures). He really struggles socially though so I decided to put him in preschool but he's not doing so well. The homework he brings home is like tracing the letter A and the number 1 and he hates doing it and is so bored by it. I try to add to his homework by having him write words that start with "A" on his trace the letter A worksheets but that's boring to him too.

He is extremely stubborn and won't do anything unless it interests him and his interests can at times be very narrow. He also is having bad meltdowns when I take him to school and today he had to go to the office for misbehaving. I really think he's bored and under stimulated. I also think there is a high possibility he could have Aspergers.

I'm wondering if having him in preschool is even worth it? Should I just keep him home and "homeschool" him myself? If so- I don't even know where to begin! He obviously doesn't really need kindergarten (academically, at least- maybe socially he does). So I'm especially nervous about what I will do next year when he's suppose to go to school! I'm just at a loss I guess. I want to foster his giftedness while helping teach him social norms and just don't know how to!
You have to determine what you want for his preschool experience. Realistically, there will be no real academic growth in terms of reading and math resulting from the work he does in preschool. If you want it to be fun and social... it doesn't seem he's in the right place.

Both mine loved preschool but they went to programs where they had a wealth of experiences but never saw a worksheet or was expected to trace anything. It was a place to get messy and play with things they didn't have at home. DD would have been fine without those 4 hours of preschool a week. She didn't really connect socially but she loved the projects and the teachers. DS really needed preschool (as did I for him.) He had very intense social needs and I was struggling to give him enough. Preschool 9 hours a week calmed gave him a routine and a social scene he liked and me a break from his intensity!

play-based preschools seem to be either in ritzy or rec. The "middle class" programs in our area seem to feel the academic push is important. We went with rec programs. Great in vision and in price.
 

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Sometimes, no matter how smart you are, gifted talented or anything else, social skills will always fly out the window, both me and my son have that problem. In school I was called weird and all this other stuff, and most kids look at my son like he has 5 heads.

The problem I found was finding others like me. It was easier when I was in school because they put me in the gifted and talented class. Finally I had friends who were just as weird and quirky as I was and I was no longer bored with school.

My son on the other hand because of our location doesn't have a special class to go to or school. I have to supplement based on his interests. Right now his interests are vampires, so he wants to read about Vlad the Impaler.

My advice is, if you can find another school where the kids are like your kid, and also take him to the park as much as possible. My son always does really well at the park. He usually finds at least one of two other kids to play with who don't mind him discussing the bloody battles of peasants 600 years ago.

They tried to diagnose him with Aspergers as well, but wouldn't retest him because his other teachers felt he was fine. My son has since learned that Aspergers has many similarities with Psychopathy, and now wants to be tested with the PCL-R. Did I mention that he's 7? Those are some of the crazy things about dealing with kids like that. My mother still complains about my interests and behaviors as a child.
 
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