Interesting item from Springfield, Mass. Curious to hear your thoughts.
It is important to include children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities in all aspects of family life. Sometimes, however, finding ways to include them in household chores can be challenging for parents because these children may have fewer skills and more behavior problems than their typically developing peers.
Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, a methodology that includes teaching in small steps, using positive rewards and allowing for lots of practice, offers several effective teaching techniques.
With the help of discrete trial instruction, an ABA method that involves giving specific instructions, prompting, reinforcement and repetition, many children with ASD and other developmental disabilities can learn basic matching and sorting skills. Once a child has mastered basic matching skills, she can be taught to sort silverware, books and other shelved items, or put away groceries. All children can participate in family life at some level. Learning to do simple chores can increase children's daily living skills and give them skills that may someday be useful in vocational activities. Obtaining these skills will also give them a sense of satisfaction and pride as they become contributing members of the family.