Little LE is exactly one month away from turning 4. I am convinced that she is gifted. In its own way, its as challenging raising my little LE as it is raising a child with Asperger’s. Right now, I am faced with the challenge of perfectionism. Her brain processing power is ahead of her fine motor skills. She knows the way she wants something to look, the way it “should” look. When she is unable to match it in reality, she gets very upset. Temper tantrum, scribbling all over her art / note, crying upset. She is heart-breakingly hard on herself.
Moments after drawing this person, she drew a big X from corner to corner to corner because “her stripes and dot dress is wrong”. At her age, the “average” kid is still making “tadpoles”, with legs sprouting from the head. The emergence of a torso is a 5-6 year old skill, with making the trunk longer than it is wide an even later milestone. I’m just amazed at her precocious ability (she scores around 6 years, 3 months on the Goodenough Draw a Person Test), and she is freaking out and destroying it because its “wrong”.
It does no good to tell her that it is all right, or that it is perfect just the way it is. She *knows* it isn’t (in her mind), and she just gets more upset. We’ve read Beautiful Oops more than a few times. In moments of calm “rationality”, we’ll talk about art, and how there really are no mistakes in art. How she is only three and she is still learning to use her hands, and it’s ok if the 2 points of a “w” don’t line up exactly right now (or whatever). I’ve tried to model making mistakes and different coping skills. I try to acknowledge the work that went into something, rather than just praising the result. I’m not entirely sure what else to do.