Autism and Chores: 5 Tips to Get Your Child Started
We might ask ourselves if giving our Autistic children chores is appropriate. The answer is Yes!
Chores teach children many valuable lessons. Kids who do chores become successful adults. Autistic children are no exception. In fact, it's vital for ASD kids to have responsibilities because it will boost self-esteem and self-reliance and teach them necessary life skills. It will also prepare them for a possible future in the workforce environment.
How to get started
1. Make it simple. You can start off by guiding your child to pick up a toy and place it in its appropriate place or watering a plant. Simple chores like these are a good foundation to build on.
2. Start with one chore a day. Then gradually add more as your child masters each task. Setting small but achievable goals will set them up for success.
3. Use your child's abilities to their advantage. If your child loves to sort, they can sort their toys. They can also sort laundry by color or sort silverware and put them away.
4. Use a visual chore chart. Chore charts are an effective way to keep up with daily tasks. You can also use sticker charts or a token system for a reward or an allowance at the end of the week. Offering a reward or allowance will make them look forward to earning something for their hard work.
5. Praise your child often and thank them for their help. Let them know what they do is important and makes things easier for you. They will feel pride in contributing to the household.
You can start giving out simple chores like watering plants, picking up toys, feeding pets, wiping the coffee table, placing dirty clothes in the hamper or throwing items in the wastebasket.
As your child gets older, they can make a simple meal like a sandwich, load the dishwasher, dust, put folded clothes away, set the table and make their bed.
When my son was younger, I was hesitant to give him chores. I wasn't sure if he was capable of having responsibilities around the house because of all his challenges. But I've learned, with hard work, that he is capable. He's in Highschool now. The skills he's learned from doing chores around the house have prepared him to help in his school's kitchen. He unloads items from truck deliveries, stocks the kitchen, and has other duties as well. The kitchen staff described him as having a good work ethic. Having a good work ethic is a great compliment to anyone. This couldn't have happened if I didn't give him responsibilities when he was younger.
Introducing chores to your child's daily routine might be challenging at first, but it pays off in many ways. Your autistic child will get satisfaction from doing their share in the household. They will feel independent and get a boost of confidence. It will take them far in life. That is priceless.
Does your autistic child do chores around the house?