Many parents might think that their child with autism is not capable in helping out with chores, but little would you know that they can and would want to (Household Chores for a Child with Autism, n.d.). Teaching your child with autism to do chores is an important part of teaching them independent living skills (Autism Society of NC, 2015). However, the chores must be simplified and broken down in steps for them to learn. An example would be for sweeping the floor, you could show them how they are supposed to take the broom and dustpan first then sweep up the dirt and throw the dirt into the bin and to keep the broom and dustpan back. It would take a few practices before they are able to master the skill. The choice of a chore that you decide for them to help also has to be something simple, depending on their ability and motivation to do it and also to note that children with autism are visual learners and simply asking them to do something won’t work (Household Chores for a Child with Autism, n.d.).
Observe your child and also take note of what they like to do and incorporate the chore in. Make it fun and remember to reinforce once the chore is done or when they start off small by doing the first step. Talk to your child’s behaviour therapist or teachers if unsure or if help is required and they will be able to recommend suitable chores for your child and also will be able to teach them first (Children with ASD Can Help Out Around the House, n.d.).
Here are some examples of chores that might be appropriate for the various age groups.
Ages 2 to 3
Keeping the toys
Helping to make the bed
Ages 4 to 5
Feeding a pet
Matching of socks
Setting the table
Ages 6 to 8
Tidying of room
Replacing toilet rolls
Ages 9 to 12
Sweeping the floor
Packing their own lunch for school
Doing simple laundry that has already been sorted for them.
Ages 13 and above
Cleaning out the fridge
Shopping of groceries with an adult
Washing of the car
However, do keep in mind that the child has to have the necessary prerequisite skills before attempting the specific chore that you choose and the chore that is chosen should help them develop their social and functional skills (Household Chores for a Child with Autism, n.d.). Patience is key in teaching children with autism anything new (Autism Society of NC, 2015).
Helping in chores will be beneficial and worth it for children with autism as they would develop better self-esteem and would be happier if they feel needed and appreciated (Children with ASD Can Help Out Around the House, n.d.).
Written by: Jasvinder
Children with ASD can help out around the house. Expert Columns: Children with ASD Can Help Out Around the House. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://www.mayinstitute.org/news/acl/asd-and-dd-child-focused/children-with-asd-can-help-out-around-the-house/
Household Chores for a Child with Autism. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://www.porchlighteducation.org/modules/summaries/teaching-children-to-help-with-chores-summary.pdf
Household chores teach independent-living skills. Autism Society of NC. (2015, March 5). Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://www.autismsociety-nc.org/household-chores-teach-independent-living-skills/