We have been busy working on getting my son to be more independent. Working on more independence with an autistic child requires a lot of repetitive work. It also requires a lot of patience. It’s been difficult to work on independence this summer with both of my kids dealing with ear problems. I am grateful that they both are doing well, now. Hopefully, by the end of the year, my autistic son will be able to have repair work done and have some of his hearing restored.
I’ve been working on getting my son to be more involved in chores around the house. It means that they get done slower, and not completely up to what most people would consider a “good job.” The fact that he is able to do some things around the house is a huge step in my son’s independence.
My son is doing well with his laundry. He requires supervision in folding them, but is able to put them away on his own. One day, I put his clothes on his bed unfolded, and went back later and found them all put away in the proper drawers. They just weren’t folded. I’m most proud of the fact that he put them away without being told. He saw his clean clothes on the bed, and knew that they needed to be put away.
There are other things that he is doing now, too. We are teaching him to dust his bedroom, and sweep. He’s also learning how to wash and dry the dishes. He has mastered putting the dishes away. That’s no surprise, given that he is very good at putting things in there proper place.
How are we getting my son to be more independent? We take it one day at a time. Either me or my son’s CAP worker take him through the steps of each chore. We model the task when needed, and supervise and offer prompts. It’s taken us time to get him to the point that he is at. We continue to make progress everyday. One important thing that I’d like to share for anyone trying to get their autistic child to be more independent is to be patient. Yes, you can get it done faster, but what will that teach your child? Take the time to go through each step. Eventually, like my son, he will pick up on the skills needed to complete the chores you would like your child to complete. My son did. And I am so proud of him.