Getting Aspergers Kids Ready For School

You've got to leave for work in 5 minutes ...when you notice your Aspergers child is still in his pajamas.

Here are some tips for improving your morning routine and getting him to school on time. Getting Aspergers (high functioning autistic) kids ready for school can be a nightmare. Making these minor adjustments to your morning can help improve your mood - and his - for the entire day:

• Go to bed earlier, and get up earlier. You'll have more time for dealing with any emotional struggles. Also, this gives your youngster time to wake up, which they tend to do slowly.

• Have your youngster go school shopping with you and try things on. New shoes can be uncomfortable, and your youngster may decide they don't like certain colors or patterns of shirts. Figure out what clothing they like and stick to it. Consider buttons vs. clasps, laces vs. velcro, long sleeves vs. short, and such things. To the youngster, these things might cause major irritation.

• If your youngster's class does Show And Tell, pick something out the night before. An Aspergers youngster can get really picky about such things, and making a choice or finding the right toy can take forever. Do this at night so you don't risk being late for school the next day.

• Pick out clothes the night before. Have your youngster decide from a few options, so that they are less likely to argue about what they will wear when it's time to get dressed for school. Letting them be involved in the decision reduces confrontation and promotes independence.

• Stock up on the breakfast foods your youngster likes. Healthy choices are important, but try to get some back up snack foods that your youngster enjoys. A less-than-healthy breakfast is better than nothing at all, and it is definitely better than dealing with a tantrum when you are already running late. Get your youngster to make a list of preferred breakfast foods, and negotiate to get plenty of healthy options on that list. Take it with you when you buy groceries.

• Watch out for minor issues like socks that aren't completely dry. Take the time to dry them, because you'll waste even more time dealing with the aftermath of a tantrum when your youngster puts them on.

• When you drive your youngster to school (assuming they don't ride the bus), try to take the same route as usual. While it's good to gradually expose your youngster to changes, this isn't the best time. Taking a different route than usual can be stressful for anyone with an autism spectrum disorder.

Hopefully these tips will help you get your Aspergers child ready for school without tantrums and meltdowns. Then, your youngster will be in the mood to put her excellent brain power to use at school.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns


  1. Thank you so much for all the emails you send. They are truly helpful for my family.

    I appreciate all you provide me as a parent to help my son.


  2. Welp, in this house that is usually precluded by get dressed get dressed get dressed (much like Sheldon's knock on Penny's door) and so I guess if they're still in Jammies, then they're going to school that way...they usually change pretty quickly then. Mix match and all

  3. I say to my 10 year old every morning, that hes gonna make me late and he always says give me just a little more time with a winey voice. His outfits never match and that always another issue....

  4. we had a total melt down in this house just yesterday over the fact that I had put powdered sugar on his french toast and he dissolved into a crying fit of "I cannot eat it" That's what i get for breaking routine and trying to save some time...... Not anymore it wasted more time and got everyone upset. definitively routine is everything!

  5. Mornings were a complete nightmare for years. . I found these methods through trial and error. I've used all of the above now for about a year. I wish Id had a list like this when my son was 3!

  6. Thank God she has to wear a uniform! I think I would rather home school than go thru the I dont want to wear that melt down every day!!

  7. We created a timeline wit clipart pictures. He knows, according to the plan, at 7:45 he needs to be brushing his teeth. I use the timer and have a small clock on the breakfast table... When the big hand gets to the 9 you have to stop eating and go brush. We have good and bad days. But since we started the timeline, mostly good!!

  8. My 9 yr. old daughter has been doing better, with getting dressed because we made a flow chart (she got to color it in) of all the positive consequences that result when she is dressed by 8:00, that's 15 min. before her bus comes. I also have to help her tie her shoes and do her hair, both of which can lead to a small tantrum as well, so we need that 15 min. for that. :) Anyway, this flow chart says that if she is dressed by 8, she can watch 2 shows afterschool, earn a sticker on her chart and be to school on time which allows her to get her morning work done and have some time to read before class starts. Also when she earns 5 stickers, she can pick a small prize and when she gets 25 stickers, she can have a play date or a mom or dad date. She came up with that last part herself, but she really likes the whole flow chart because of all the colors and because she is able to visually see all of the positive consequences that come from this one good behavior. So it's getting better, but I still have to remind her to get dressed, and tell her things like, "You're putting your clothes on over your pajamas, silly. Or, you just put two socks on one foot. :) But at least she is not battling me and knows that she has to beat the clock instead of argue with me. She also tried to test me and did have a meltdown the first couple of times that she did not earn TV, but I had to be firm and just help her find other ways to relax afterschool on those days.

  9. Since the world has to revolve around avoiding meltdowns...etc, what about the older sister or brother? How to cope with all the stress this situation puts on them, the anger, anxiety, that comes with having a bro/sis with all the special needs that are so demanding. We must see that the sibling(s) stay mentally healthy!

  10. This sounds so familiar. Thanks for sharing. My kids are also ADHD-types, so staying on top of them in the morning is really important. We have to keep reminding them "Take a bite" when they're having breakfast. We make getting dressed a race ("Can you dress faster than mommy / daddy?") and when it comes to socks.... well... our daughter just doesn't like to wear socks. Or pants. Even when it's freezing outside. You gotta pick your battles.


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