Posted on 06/06/2017 at 12:04 PM by
By Madeleine Moody
Heartland AEA School Psychologist
Ever wondered how to get your child involved around the house? Or maybe you are overwhelmed on how to divvy up household activities among family members to make life a little easier?
Caregivers have a variety of priorities regarding their children, and household chores are among them. Social and motor skills that are not developed in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may impact the child’s ability to participate in meaningful activities throughout their day. However, with thoughtful planning and individualization, your child can participate in household activities. Here are some ideas to help you engage your child in household activities:
Consider your child’s likes and dislikes to individualize a household activity that suits them. If loud noises upset them, vacuuming may not be the best. Contrary, some kids love the sound of the vacuum!
If motor movement is of concern, consider sorting or folding laundry while sitting in the living room or place a chair in the kitchen during clean up so they can help you dry dishes as they are washed. If motor movement is not a concern, watering plants, dusting selected pieces of furniture, unloading the dishwasher, and cleaning mirrors are among your options.
Another important part of instruction is reinforcement. Each time your child completes a step or finishes their activity, provide them something they are fond of (e.g., verbal praise, high five, hugs or tickles, favorite food, favorite toy).
Through individualization, planning, teaching and reinforcement, your child can help out around the house and that’s a win-win for you and your child!