Developing Lifeskills: Chores

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Developing Lifeskills: Chores

Household chores can, and should, be started early with very young children, and that goes for children with autism too. Our kids are very capable of learning all of these skills, even if they take longer to learn them. Learn how to break each task down and teach the skills here.

Why Chores? Chores serve many purposes:

  • Teaches skills and competency
  • Keep kids with ASD engaged
  • Teaches independence
  • Teaches charting and calendaring
  • Teaches about money or reward
  • Teaches value of work
  • A non-disabled peer/sibling would be expected to do it
  • The chores that need doing, get done

Chores By Developmental Age
The following are some of the chores a child may do, based on developmental age.

Since autism is a developmental disability, your child will not likely do them by chronological age, but rather developmental age.

Chores By Developmental Age: 2-3

  • Put their toys in toy box
  • Stack books on shelf
  • Put dirty clothes in hamper
  • Throw trash away
  • Fold washcloths
  • Fetch diapers and wipes
  • Dust baseboards
  • Put napkins on table
  • Brush teeth with help
  • Get dressed

Chores By Developmental Age: 4-5

  • Feed pets
  • Set the table
  • Wipe up spills
  • Put away toys
  • Straighten bedroom
  • Water houseplants
  • Sort clean silverware
  • Prepare simple snacks
  • Use Dustbuster
  • Clear kitchen table
  • Dry and put away dishes
  • Brush teeth alone

Chores By Developmental Age: 6-7

  • Gather trash/recycling
  • Fold towels
  • Dust mop floor
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Match clean socks
  • Weed or water garden
  • Rake leaves
  • Peel potatoes
  • Make salad
  • Replace toilet rolls
  • Make their bed
  • Carry in groceries
  • Typing

Chores By Developmental Age: 8-9

  • Shovel snow
  • Load dishwasher
  • Change light bulbs
  • Wash laundry
  • Hang/fold clean clothes
  • Dust furniture
  • Sweep and hose off patio/walkways
  • Put groceries away
  • Scramble eggs
  • Bake cookies
  • Walk dog
  • Wipe off table
  • Windex mirrors/windows

Chores By Developmental Age: 10-11

  • Clean bathrooms
  • Vacuum
  • Clean countertops
  • Prepare simple meals
  • Mow lawn
  • Bring in mail
  • Do simple sewing (buttons, hems, etc)
  • Use a camera
  • Take garbage/recycling to curb
  • Use a cell phone to call and text

Chores By Developmental Age: 12-13

  • Mop floors
  • Wash/vacuum car
  • Trim hedges
  • Paint walls
  • Shop for groceries with a list
  • Cook complete dinner
  • Bake bread or cake
  • Do simple home repairs
  • Wash windows
  • Iron clothes
  • Balance Checking Account

Chores By Developmental Age: 14+

  • Use ATM
  • Plan meals with a budget
  • Create shopping list
  • Learn meat handling rules
  • Keep personal calendar
  • Comparison shop online
  • Understand basic internet safety rules
  • Clean out fridge/freezer
  • Clean tub/shower
  • Make an appointment
  • Find a circuit breaker/use it
  • Pump gas
  • Read a map
  • Read signs to navigate airports, stores, restaurants
  • Use GPS
  • Know local landmarks
  • Know how to find schedules, routes, pick-up points for public transit
  • Use public transportation alone

Chore Chart Examples

Chore Charts can be a powerful tool to keep your child on track and earn rewards. Chore charts can be simple photographs with or without labels. Charts can also be more complex to fit your needs. TACA has free samples and here are a few more examples.

chore chart example 1
Chore Chart Example 1
chore chart example 2
Chore Chart Example 2
chore chart example 3
Chore Chart Example 3
chore chart example 4
Chore Chart Example 4
Chore Chart Example 5
Chore Chart Example 5

Recommended Resources:
Developing Lifeskills: How to Teach A Skill
LifeSkills for Teens with ASD
Volunteering Opportunities for People with ASD
Skills Checklist
WEBINAR SLIDES: How to get your kid with ASD into college
Transition IEPs

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