Every child has to do chores so we actually make doing chores part of our school day. Lifeskills are especially important for children with special needs and since Gess tends to love routine it has been easier getting her to do the chores if they are part of our regular daily activities. As I teach Gess her household responsibilities it is always in the back of my mind that one day she will be living on her own. Therefore, I want to make sure she knows how to take proper care of her herself and her home so fostering independence is always high on my priority list.
The first chore we introduced to Gess when she was very young was folding the laundry. Her only job was folding the wash cloths which led to folding the towels which led to folding just about everything. Now she also helps me sort and wash the clothes and has even helped me make our own laundry soap (which I will be blogging about soon).
Gess has become quite the helper doing laundry, but one thing she could never quite get was matching socks. The problem is not finding the match, she's good at that. Her problem is folding the socks together. So recently I have been trying to help her with that and the other day she finally did it! Now it's still a struggle and takes a long time so I don't have her match them all, but she gets to try a couple of pairs each time we fold laundry.
As you can see, she is quite proud of the task she has accomplished! Of course laundry is not the only chore Gess does these days. She is really good at picking up around the house, washing the table, sweeping the floor, taking out the trash, cleaning her room, and making her bed. I still shy away from having her do the dishes. It's not that I am afraid she will do a poor job, it's that I am afraid of her breaking the glass and possibly cutting herself. (Maybe if I wasn't such a klutz and broke so many dishes my self it wouldn't worry me too much!) I do however, let her wash her toy dishes from time to time. That way she can still work on the skill.
Again, I think the key is making all of these important life skills a part of their every day routine as young as possible. No matter what challenges your child has try introducing them to chores early in life. Even before they are able to help just having them follow you, watch you and talk to you while you are doing them will give them a great introduction to doing chores. Training these habits when they are young will make their adult life much easier, happier and well, cleaner!