Kindergarten Redshirting: Should you delay preschool?

A few days back I came across a term -‘Redshirting’. I found out that it implies a situation where parents decide to hold back their kids a year before kindergarten. That is very much in the beginning. There are various reasons associated with this. Many parents feel that the age bracket for admission in playgroups or kindergarten may cause a huge gap, as the kids the on the lower side of the range may not have yet achieved the milestones as the kids on the upper end of the range.

They also do this so as to make sure that their kids are socially, emotionally and academically “mature”. For eg, if the range of admission is from 2yo to 3 yo, then the kid who is still 2yo is not as eloquent, can’t grip properly, is still pining for parents while kids who are 3 are enjoying their new found school adventure, this may hamper the younger kids confidence.

Now I have done both. I enrolled my son in a playgroup at the age of 1.9 years. When he turned 1.6, I suspected that he is either developmentally delayed or autistic. However, I was told by friends and family that it is so because he is not getting any peer interaction. So I put him in a nearby school. My son was one of the youngest there. And after 3 months of schooling, I was told by his teachers and counselors that he is not responding to name, sitting in one corner, playing with a particular toy, no eye contact, and he hates to interact with kids!

I would always be thankful to that school, they helped me confirm my fears and pointed me in right directions. We withdrew my son from the school as he turned 2. He was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. It was emotionally taxing for him and us. And then we waited for more than a year before putting him in a small home-based playgroup.

In this new school shaurya was 3 plus. One of the oldest kid. Physically. Otherwise, he was still that 1.9 years in the mind and in behavior. But waiting for 1 year assured that he gets the much-needed help before he goes to school, he gets all the early intervention required and though he was not the best kid in his class, he still survived 1-year there and now he is in a parallel school where he gets all the help in terms of therapies as well as academics.

So being in both places, having done both things, I came to a conclusion that when required its alright to take a step back and let the child be. That its okay if our kids not at par with others his age. That is holding back a year helps the child then go for it!

What are your thoughts regarding this?

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