"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How Simple Household Tasks Can be Therapeutic for Your Child.

As I was doing some housework one day I noticed Peanut was aimlessly wandering around the house.  Sassy was asleep, so I asked Peanut if he would like to help mommy with her chores.  His face instantly lit up as he exclaimed, "Yes!"  I was in the middle of switching around the dishes in dishwasher, so i decided to start there.

I gave Peanut a pile of utensils and pulled the tray out of the drawer, and told him to "sort."  The tray has kids spoons and forks, small and large spoons, small and large forks, and butter knives.  I sat back and just watched.  He happily picked up each utensil, looked at it and carefully chose where it went in the tray.  He did a wonderful job, practiced sorting without even realizing it and was very proud of himself when he finished.  It was then I realized how simple house hold chores such as this one could be highly therapeutic for a child on the spectrum.  That's when I ran and got the camera, and got to work trying to come up with more activities that we could do.
Peanut sorting silverware.
 Next, I took all of the sippy cups out of the dishwasher and lined them up on the counter so Peanut could see them.  I then took all of the tops and handed them to him one by one, telling him to match the right top to the cup.  Again, he did a great job.  This turned out to be great for matching as well as scanning.

Matching the tops to the right cups.
 After the cups were matched up, I had him screw each one on.  Peanuts OT would be very proud of how well he twisted the cup tops on!

This was difficult for him.  You can see his shoulders hunched over to try to stabilize himself while he tries to twist on  each top.
 Once we were done with the dishes, we moved on to the next chore.  Our front door is glass, and the kids love to look out it which means LOTS of finger prints.  I let Peanut gather everything we needed (paper towels and natural glass cleaner).
Here he is "getting organized"
 Then I let him spray the glass with the cleaner.  He loved this part.  He sprayed as high as he could, little did he know he was working is hand strength!

It's hard to see from behind, but he has the BIGGEST smile !
 Through the baby monitor I could hear sassy stir.  I wanted to vacuum before she got up, so I got out the vacuum and we went to work.  We have a Bissel healthy home vacuum which weighs approximately 50 pounds.  Despite this Peanut insisted that he vacuum too, so we took turns pushing the vacuum.  Eventually he began to tire from pushing a vacuum twice his size and he began to whine.  Thankfully, we have a toy vacuum and so he used his vacuum along side mommy which we finished up.  What a great gross motor challenge for not only strength but also balance!

Vacuuming with mommy.

We now work "chores" into our routine which include all of these activities as well as sorting and folding laundry, sweeping and wiping down tables.  It's amazing to me how many things in our lives an be therapeutic for our children, and really helps with self confidence and responsibility as well.  It may slow you down a bit, but for me it is well worth the wait.

If you'd like to find out some ideas for age appropriate chores for your child, check out the list on Raising Arrows.  

God Bless!

Mommy Provost

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