As ABA therapists, educators, and parents ourselves, we talk a lot about establishing routines for children—and especially children with autism—because predictability comforts kids and can go a long way toward preventing a meltdown. As we approach the start of a new school year, we can use this time to develop routines that will carry us into August to start each morning and finish each day on a positive, productive note.
Giving kids some household responsibilities and autonomy over a few tasks each day can help teach self-discipline, time management, and empathy. Completing age-appropriate daily chores can even help with developing impulse control. Building a few of these types of tasks into your daily routine benefits your child and helps to establish life-long habits.
Checklist of Daily Responsibilities for Elementary-Aged Kids
For some people, mornings feel rushed and chaotic, and cramming in additional tasks may add more chaos than it tames. If that’s you, think about how each of these tasks might fit into the afternoon or evening (maybe you put shoes away instead of on). For children who are early risers, having a list of responsibilities to get started on right off the bat may be the perfect way to start the day on the right foot. Of course, there’s always an in between option, too – you can split the list below into morning and evening chores if that works better for your family.
- Brush teeth – Learn more about ABA methods for teaching activities of daily living.
- Put on shoes – For a few tips and tricks to help your child with autism learn to dress themselves, check out this article.
- Wipe the table – This could be before or after any meal of the day. Wiping the table is a responsibility that contributes to cleaning up or preparing a meal and helps the whole family.
- Clean up the playroom – Use visuals to sort items into bins. Cleaning up the playroom teaches kids to take care of and responsibility for their own things. If you need a few ideas on using visual supports for your child with autism, we’ve got you covered. Click here.
- Feed the dog (or water a plant) – Taking care of something living is a great way to teach empathy.
- Read together – There are countless benefits to reading to our kids! It grows vocabulary, stimulates the imagination, and is valuable bonding time with your child.
As ABA therapists, we’re here to help your child gain independence and to see your family succeed and thrive. To learn more about how ABA therapy can help your child with autism, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 770-250-0093.