Guiding Autistic Children And Teenagers Towards Cooperation
Here are some strategies that can guide your childs behaviour in positive ways and help to strengthen your childs cooperative spirit.
Setting limits Setting limits means sending a firm message about what your child can and cant do for example, bedtime on a school night is 8 pm.
When you set limits, its important to follow through on your expectations. This shows your child that you mean what you say. So if bedtime is 8 pm, you need to stick to this. If its 8 pm some nights and whenever at other times, your child might lobby for whenever every night.
Offering choices When children have choices, they learn to make decisions and think for themselves. This is good for your childs self-esteem as well as their ability to cooperate.
A good way to give your child choices is to offer a limited range of options two is good. For example, Lou, its lunchtime. Would you like a cheese sandwich or a Vegemite sandwich? Or Rani, its time to get dressed. Would you like to wear this skirt or these jeans?
You can give your child the opportunity to make choices every day for example, what toys to play with, books to read, clothes to wear, snacks to eat, parks to play at, or projects to work on.
Giving effective instructionsThe way you give instructions strongly influences whether your child will cooperate. You can make your instructions more effective by:
Step 1 is to give the instruction:
Step 2 is to give the instruction again and show your child what you want them to do:
How Did You Teach Him To Do All Of That
Well, it took a really long time for him to learn. We had to find the right motivation, and we had to break everything down into simple steps. But somehow it clicked. This is how the learning process unfolded for us.
Step #1: Start with Self Care
My husband and I started to make long-term plans for our son while he was still in preschool. We realized that he was going to need extra help learning basic life skills.
We introduced self-care: brushing his own teeth, running a bath at the right temperature, washing his body. We always made it a point to comment positively on his independence in this area, but we did not give him any other reward.
Step #2: Experiment with Sticker Charts
We tried sticker charts for doing tasks around the house. The list of chores would have one or two self-care tasks, a household task that he had already mastered and a household task that he had not yet mastered.
Our son had absolutely no interest in these sticker charts for several years. But we noticed that he liked to vacuum and switch electric items on and off. We decided to let him vacuum as much as he wanted, and we even got him a Shark motorized sweeper, because it is lighter and quieter than a regular vacuum.
Step #3: Incorporate Privileges
Eventually, Louie started asking for extra privileges. His most prized privilege was a weekend morning out with either me or my husband.
Step #4: Add one task at a time
Step #5: Work on new tasks together
Step #6: Practice makes perfect!
Both My Kids Do Chores
For the longest time, my kids didnt do any chores. It was like I expected them to pick them up at the chore department and turned it into some sort of generational issue. A voice in my head would say, Why dont kids do chores these days? I turned into Dana Carvey doing a grumpy old man character, lamenting about my day and how things have changed. Dang kids.
The truth is nothing changed. It was my own fault. Chores are still a thing. Kids still do them, just as adults do. As the father, it was my job to put these jobs out and make sure my children took part in them. It wasnt that they werent doing helpful stuff around the house. It was that I wasnt directing them to those helpful things. It was my fault, not theirs.
When I moved into my own place in January of this year, I made it my mission to give these kids tasks to complete. My house. My rules. Our chores.
No longer would every job be mine. Sure, Id do the lions share of the work, but the cubs needed to pitch in too. Prepare for sensational news, Simba. Theres stuff to clean.
I readied myself for backlash. After all, my daughter was 12 at the time and while she kept her room impeccably neat and got grades that make middle school me jealous, traditional chores were never on her agenda. So, I made her a deal.
Surprisingly, the backlash I was prepared for never surfaced.
But you do it. You do it because you know youre teaching your kids.
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Keep Chores Age And Developmentally Appropriate
Admittedly, it can become challenging to say what is considered age-appropriate where ADHD and autism are concerned.
Dr. Robert Zeitlin discusses that for the development of any chore chart for kids, age-appropriateness of chores should be based on current abilities and strengths which are entirely at the discretion of parents.
For example, if you know your child has sensory needs that are exacerbated by odd smells or textures, it is unlikely that a good chore for them would be loading the dishwasher, where leftover food, coffee grounds, or something similar might line the sink area or dishes where their hands would be touching.
Below are some chart chart ideas grouped according to age-appropriateness.
Ways To Keep Your Adhd Child Busy
*This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
If you have a child with ADHD then you know they are full of ENERGY!
And it can be hard to keep them busy. Especially if you want them busy for longer than just a couple minutes.
My oldest C has autism and ADHD. You can read our full story here.
He is full of energy and can get bored easily too.
I have found that this list of 10 activities keeps him entertained and busy for longer than two minutes.
Success! It’s good to have you friend!
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How To Involve Your Autistic Child With Household Chores
One of the most important things, for an autistic child or not, is to be consistent. If youre trying to help them with steps, thats one thing. Ultimately you want them to be able to do the chore independently.
How do you accomplish that?
Break it down into steps.
For example, lets look at doing laundry:
- Sort dirty laundry
- Add dirty clothes and shut lid
- When done, add a dryer sheet to the dryer
- Put the wet clothes into the dryer
- When done, remove clean clothes from dryer
- Sort clean clothes
- Fold clothes
- Put clothes away
You may think its not necessary, but really? I think the more steps the better. You can also have your child watching you at first while you perform the steps of the task.
Gradually, they can become involved in the process.
Tell Your Child That He/she Needs To Complete A Certain Amount Of Work And Allow Them To Work Towards A Break
For example, if your child is given 20 math problems for homework, you can say, Complete the first ten problems and then take a five minute break to do something of your choice. Then do the next ten problems. During the break, set the timer for five minutes and make sure the child can see it so they know exactly how much time they have left.
A simple list of the plan can be extremely helpful
- 10 math problems
- 5 minute break for a preferred activity
- 10 math problems
Children who struggle with reading/language may need the list to be in visual form. See How to Use Schedules to Improve Childrens Behavior for more on this topic.
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Tips To Finish Chores For Adults Who Have Adhd
For most people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , the condition doesnt go away when you become an adult. You still face some of the same challenges you had as a child, they just look different.
Researchers have found that adults with ADHD may have trouble with memory and organizational skills, which could impact getting the household chores done.
These challenges, though, can be overcome. If youre living with ADHD, these home organization tips can help you create and maintain a clean and organized home without all of the stress.
Create Chore Charts For Kids With Adhd Or Autism That Work
Have you ever considered making a chore chart for your child with autism or ADHD? Maybe youve tried and it fell flat. Maybe you didnt think it would work so you never started. Maybe your child responded negatively at the mere whiff of a chore. That last ones not surprising. After all, chores are defined as unpleasant, but necessary tasks. Not exactly something a kid would jump at. Yet, without them a family home can fall into a veritable domestic armageddon. Maybe youve experienced it. There are clothes everywhere. The sink is overflowing with dishes. The garbage is starting to smell. The house looks like a bomb dropped on it. The dog is buried alive under dust. Wait, was that a raccoon that just walked by? Things have gotten out of control.
Youve asked your child 100 times to bring their clothes upstairs, unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, and rescue the dog. But it has all fallen on deaf ears. Whats a parent to do? You dont want to be a taskmaster, but you cant take care of everything yourself. Seriously, how did muddy footprints get on the ceiling? So you make a chore chart. And everything goes according to planat first.
This chore chart for kids is neatly organized by time of day, tasks to be completed, and rows for shiny stars to fill their place once done. Its a work of art. Something to inspire the masses. You cant wait to see this chart fill up, the tasks get done, your child rewarded, and your home gloriously free of chores.
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Assessing A Person’s Current Skills
When it comes to life skills, knowing a person’s strengths and areas in need of support are important to continue learning. We have a tool you can use, the Community-Based Skills Assessment .
This tool was developed by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, to help parents and professionals assess the current skill levels and abilities of individuals with autism beginning at age 12 and continuing into adulthood in order to develop a comprehensive plan.
The CSA assess needs in the area of community-based living, from transportation to financial management to peer relationships and more.
Explore the Community-Based Skills Assessment.
Teaching A Child With Autism To Do Chores
Not all parents have their children do chores and those that do all have various ways of handling them. What works for one family may not work for another family. When I was growing up I had various small chores to accomplish during the week but Saturday morning was designated as cleaning day, which included changing beds, vacuuming and dusting.
The rule was No Saturday morning cartoons until ALL chores were completed and passed inspection. This motivated me to get things done quickly because the thought of no Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry was unthinkable to me but my sister couldnt care less.
How do you get your child to do chores around the house?
There is no one way to motivate a child to do their assigned chores and parents need to find the best approach for each child. But before a parent can motivate a child to do chores, the child needs to understand what is expected of him or her. If a child doesnt understand the who, what, when, where, and how behind a chore it wont mean much to him or her and the motivation will be lacking.
When you are ready to tackle the assignment of chores to your children here are some things to keep in mind for a stress free and enjoyable experience for all.
Communicate clearly.remarkable abilityempowered
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Nine Household Chores For Your Child With Special Needs
Author Brenda Kosky Deskin has made some great suggestions on how to modify household chores so a child with special needs can handle them. Its important to practice chores to work towards greater independence. Some chores can also be worked into a sensory diet. Having a child do household chores makes them feel they are contributing members of the family. Click here to read about the nine household chore suggestions.
Tags: household chores for special needs.
Links Disclaimer: Autism Awareness Centre believes that education is the key to success in assisting individuals who have autism and related disorders. While we do the best to ensure the accuracy of all information on our site, Autism Awareness Centre is not responsible for the accuracy and validity of the content linked to on external third party sites.
Ten Ways To Build Independence
Transition Tool Kit
This list from Autism Speaks Autism Response Team member Emily Mulligan provides information on how you can help your child increase his or her independence at home, at school and in the community. By introducing these skills early and building block by block, you can help your loved one with autism gain the tools that will allow him or her to be more independent throughout his or her life.
If your child struggles with spoken language, a critical step for increasing independence is strengthening his or her ability to communicate by building skills and providing tools to help express preferences, desires and feelings. Consider introducing Alternative/Augmentative Communication and visual supports. Common types of AAC include picture exchange communication systems , speech output devices and sign language.
Using a visual schedule with your child can help the transition from activity to activity with less prompting. Review each item on the schedule with your child and then remind him or her to check the schedule before every transition. Over time, he or she will be able to complete this task with increasing independence, practice decision making and pursue the activities that interest him or her. You can learn more about using visual supports by downloading the ATN/AIR-P Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder Tool Kit.
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How To Use Chore Chart Printables For Autism And Why Chores Are Important
When we are raising our children, on the autism spectrum or not, we want to show them how to do things. This not only teaches them responsibility but also important life skills for the future. One of the ways that we can actively teach them life skills is by having them do household chores. For autistic children, while we can also teach them by showing them how to do something we can also teach them by incorporating chore chart printables.
- Personal responsibility/accountability
- Goal setting
But, I think the most important part for autistic kids? Chores teach them about life skills in a hands-on way that is also meaningful.
How To Modify Chores For Your Child With Autism
When you have a child with autism or other special needs, chores are often overlooked or parents dont consider it a possibility for their child. Just as modifications are needed in the classroom, small modification or supports can be developed to not only make chores a possibility, but part of the daily routine. Find out more about increasing your child’s independence with chores at home!
What are the benefits of kids completing daily chores?
- Builds confidence successfully completing a task that they once thought they couldnt do brings a sense of pride and accomplishment.
- Builds a sense of community Understanding that helping out keeps the house clean and running smoothly.
- Increased understanding of cause and effect If the child does not put away their toys in the correct place then they cant find them.
How can you modify chores for your child with autism? Use photographic support! This strategy is one of the most widely used supports at school, so why not bring it into the home? Below we have listed 4 different chores that you can modify by simply adding photo support.
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Make Your Chore Chart Easy On The Eyes
Keep chore charts for kids simple.
Try and envision the chore chart from your childs perspective. If its overwhelming for you to look at, imagine what your child sees! So they should be easy to look at and understand.
Less is more when it comes to making things appealing for children with ADHD or autism.
Too many sparkles, bright colors, or stickers can easily overwhelm or distract children who struggle with processing visual information. Keep colors basic and writing large and legible.
One very effective chore chart idea is to create a chart with large, unmissable text. Heres an example of how to make a clear, functional chart:
Step 1: Type chores into a Word document
Step 2: Adjust the font and font size for best readability
Step 3: Print it out
Step 4: Laminate the paper
Step 5: Cut each task into horizontal strips
Step 6: Apply Velcro command strips to the back of tasks and your chore chart
Not only can your chores now be removed, added, or rearranged on the fly, but they will be easier on the eyes.
Just remember to go easy on the color, too. Flashy colors like bright reds, oranges, and yellows can cause aversions in some situations. Green is always a safe choice. In fact, people see green better than any color.
Color choice is especially important to consider with a child with autism. One study found that due to the hyper-sensation characterics of autism spectrum disorder , children with autism respond best to green and brown colors.