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One of the biggest battles this household often deals with is chores! Every Saturday morning is chore day and it often never goes as planned. Children with autism tend to struggle with details and chores are no exception.
With my son who has autism it's not as simple as sitting down to discuss what chores are expected to be done, especially now that school is out for the summer.
Autistic children often do better when they have a schedule to follow. The same is true when it comes to knowing what chores are a must on Saturdays mornings for my son before he is allowed to do anything fun.
To him it's not cool, but he also needs to understand that life isn't always easy and you have to work for the things that you want in life. There are definitely days where his thought process is more like he doesn't have to do chores because that's just not ideal for him. He doesn't like hard work and believes that everything should be easy in life, and that life's rules don't apply to him.
A visual or simple chore list might be the first thing a parent would consider for a child who has special needs, but it isn't always effective when they are teenagers.
Just like any teen there will be times when they just don't want to do anything, especially housework! And while the chore battle is real, it doesn't always have to be a struggle.
Autistic teens like to have control. I know as a parent this is hard to do because well, we are parents, but they need to be able to make choices good or bad in life.
One of the easiest ways to let your teen have some control is by investing in a notebook of their choosing and have them write down each of the chores they are expected to do.
Stick to a schedule, but give your child some lead way by allowing them to decide which chores they will do first, and so forth. You could even let them decide what their chores will be, so that it doesn't feel like a demand.
You could even offer an allowance for chores outside their normal routine. For example if you have a garden, your child can pull weeds or pick ripened fruits or vegetables. For kids with slight to moderate autism they can help mow and weedeat the yard.
In the same notebook make a summer plan of having them set a few goals for themselves. My son's goals consist of enrolling in college, getting a bicycle for transportation and applying for a part-time job, all of which he has already accomplished!
Why am I suggesting goals in addition to their regular chores? If you are a parent working from home, you'll find that keeping your child busy during the summer will prevent boredom from setting in while you are trying to get work done. It's also a great way to teach them how to make good decisions for themselves.
One final thought for winning the chore battle with autistic kids, a schedule should be a must! Having a structured routine even during the summer months will help your autistic teen stay on track and keep chore battles to a minimum.