Rigid Adherence to Rules

Determining whether or not to report rule breaking can be a very gray area for many people. The child who “tattles” on classmates every time one of them jumps off a swing may believe he's doing exactly what he should in abiding by the rules. In actuality, though, it is a minor offense, and his constant “policing” of them is likely to make him very unpopular with the other children. Explaining all of this may be challenging, especially if the “rules” have been established by an adult, or if they appear in writing.

Alert

Before entering an environment that may be new and different for your child, it will be best to review the “rules” of being there. For example, the etiquette of being in a movie theater means talking in a quiet voice, staying seated with few exceptions, not littering, and respecting those around you (like not kicking the seat in front of you). These rules apply to everyone, including your child.

Children with Asperger's can have a very rigid sense of justice and injustice. That is, black is black and white is white with no gray in between. The gray, of course, does exist in life, but learning this may well be a confusing process for your child. This is why driving a car can be problematic for some people; careful adherence to the rules of the road doesn't mean that everyone else is following the same rules as correctly as you are. In fact, when driving, everyone regularly “fudges” and, technically speaking, breaks minor rules or laws all the time to suit his or her personal convenience.

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