Chores and Responsibilities
“Because you are a part of this family!” Parents have used this familiar response for generations. People who are part of a family are expected to pitch in and help. You are not running a motel.
Everybody has his part to play.
The chores that you give your child should match her age as well as her developmental and physical skills. A child in a wheelchair might be able to use a feather duster. A child who is on the autism spectrum might sort items to be recycled.
It is helpful to choose a small group of chores and then add to them over time. Once she has mastered a set of chores, perhaps your child can rotate them with a sibling. This week one of the children may unload the dishwasher and vacuum the living room. Next week, she will load the dishwasher and collect the dirty laundry. Her sibling will do the other chores.
Communicating Your Expectations
Use the communication techniques you have learned for discipline and general rules: model, talk, or use a visual like a chart. Charts work especially well for chores because each one can be marked off as it is completed. You and your child can tell at a glance how things are going.
Parents have differing opinions on whether children should be paid for doing chores. No matter which side of the fence you are on, rewarding a job well done is important for the child with special needs. Ultimately, you will want your child to take care of her responsibilities because it is the right thing to do.
Chores can be rewarded with money, depending on the work that is actually done. Perhaps your child's chores include taking out the garbage and feeding the dog, but she only took out the garbage. Her payment should be lower because she did not complete all of her tasks.
Some families reward chores with a family activity. If Saturday is work-around-the-house day, perhaps the family reward is going to the park when the work is completed, or maybe inviting guests over for the evening.