Our home is your happy, safe place. It holds all the things you love the most, in one spot– family, “blankie,” swings, pink squares, waffles. It’s comfortable and for the most part predictable. Nobody stares at you, your unique communication is understood by us all, and the love and patience are endless here.
Everyone in our family does their fair share in your happy, safe place – OK, if I’m being honest mommy may do most of the daily cleaning tasks, but everyone helps in making our home run smoothly. Bed’s get made, laundry sorted, the table set for meals, cleaning up after the dog (hands down the least favorite chore), the list could go on and on. No free passes around here and that includes you. Don’t get me wrong we’re not all work and no play, but learning responsibility is very important to us.
People who meet you for the first time are not usually engaging in an in-depth conversation about getting to know one another. They are more likely to be instantly charmed by your big eyes, infectious smile, and the dimples! Addie, you could eat cereal from those dimples! Just beautiful. You get them from your daddy. Now with your obvious lack of functional language and constant movement, some may be surprised to learn that even with having special needs you are fully capable of completing tasks such as household chores - just like everybody else. Maybe not picking up after the dog in the yard, you still haven’t mastered the art of dodging the doggy landmines just yet (there’s a lot of feet washing around here), but capable of chores geared towards your abilities.
Chores, in essence, are not only helpful to one’s family but provide great life skills practice for kids…especially those with special needs like yourself. Everyone wants to feel that sense of value and accomplishment and completing chores can do just that.
But what kind of chores could you do? Well…
While your appearance (always adorable, but sometimes messy) and mannerisms (a little chaotic) may seem to relate otherwise, you’re actually a very organized person. You fancy structure and routine, and lining up & sorting like objects are kind of your jam. Keeping all this in mind, your chore tasks had to be created out of organization and consistency in its execution. After careful consideration and making sure not to overload your sensory system, we had a few things in mind, starting with sorting the silverware into the drawer. You know the metal objects we encourage you to put in your mouth?! Yep, those.
Spoons, forks, knives, sorting like objects – you totally got this!
Right off the bat, you executed this task with perfection, but almost too perfect. Like most autistic children, you saw the literal meaning of this…sorting the silverware in this drawer. Got it! Feeling and enjoying that sense of accomplishment you set out to put ALL silverware in the drawer, even if that meant pulling dirty utensils from the sink and yes, placing them in the drawer.
OK, my fault, my specifics were off I should’ve clarified, “clean” silverware from the dishwasher.
Live and learn right?!
So, this week you started to learn more responsibility with household chores, in which you are completely capable of and hopefully gained a new life skill in the process. As for myself, I washed all the silverware a couple extra times, but I didn't mind.
You did great and I hope you always know how proud we are of you!
Keep up the good work!
I love you.