I have spent more than 15 years working specifically in an Adult Transition program. From those years of experience, I can advise to get started as early as possible assigning chores which is basically the foundation of job skill training. Regardless of what ism your child experiences, helping your child to navigate any “skill training” road will help them in their future endeavors.
You might say, “My child is currently in elementary school. We are buried with homework and struggling with behavioral issues at home. Isn’t this enough?”
Think about it this way. You are not asking them to go out and get a job. You might start with a simple request to pitch in around the house.
I know that young kids with various isms work amazingly hard at school and with various therapists. From what I have learned, getting them started with small steps towards responsibility is actually of great service to them.
Get Started with Selecting Chores
First, consider what your child can handle. What can he or she learn to do? Depending on the child’s age and abilities, decide what jobs are best suited for your child. It may be a bit of trial and error too.
Avoid being perfectionistic – these assigned jobs don’t have to be done perfectly.
Consider setting up a visual job chart with a rewards program. See some really cool chore charts below.
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Alternatively, you can assign a simple task and advise the child that task is “their job”. Providing these small challenges can be quite rewarding for you and your child. You may discover that your child may actually begin to thrive on the positive recognition they receive from doing various small jobs, chores or simple tasks.
Ideas to Start Assigning Chores
Some ideas that might be good jobs or chore options for your child:
- Sort or fold laundry
- Match up socks
- Take out the trash
- Bring dishes to the sink – graduate to washing the family dishes
- Feed the family pet or clean the cage
- Walk the family pet
- Bring in the mail
- Shred the old bills
- Make sandwiches for the family’s lunch
- Make his own school lunch
- Wipe up the bathroom sink
- Water the garden
As time goes by, you might adjust the assigned tasks. You may wish to add other jobs to your child’s responsibilities.
Remember to reward your child for completing each of the assigned tasks. Consider stickers, tattoos, special foods, time with you, TV time or even money, which can lead into teaching money management.
Chores – Chart Ideas
Extension of Chores is Possible
Your child might even learn to extend their jobs outside of your home.
For example, when your child takes your garbage to the curb, perhaps she can take the neighbor’s garbage to the curb as well. Or, your child can walk your dog and the neighbor’s dog. They might even get paid for some of these extras. Bonus!
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I can tell you, as one who works with Adult Transition students, which families challenge their children with chores. The students who do chores at home, will more often than not, step up to offer help in various areas of the classroom. In addition, these students seem to experience a higher sense of accomplishment. I note that they display a healthy self esteem which I believe is due to the pride they take in their accomplishments at home. This set of soft skills transfers very well to the job training and job skills we practice daily at school.