Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Dual Diagnosis Down syndrome and autism, Uncategorized

Blog #140~Home Chores and Your Special Needs Child

Blog #140~Home Chores and Your Special Needs Child

I was doing a little spring cleaning the other day.  I ran across a nice checklist of housekeeping activities to foster independence and build confidence.  My son, Nick is 22 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  He takes great pride in doing his chores around the house.

Nick watering plants

One of Nick’s strengths is remembering where things go.  He does a great job unloading the dishwasher and putting the dishes away.  Other jobs he has are recycling, emptying the garbage cans, laundry.  He also assists with cooking along with his all time favorite, vacuuming!

Nick cooking

Here is the checklist of housekeeping activities:

Household chores checklist

I definitely see a few more on this list to add into Nick’s routine (except for #24).  Giving your child opportunities to help around the house is so important.  These jobs are the prerequisite which will lead to more independent living when they become young adults.  These skills may take longer to master.  With that in mind, it is helpful to use prompts.  Model the behavior, use hand over hand technique and visual icons/video modeling to help learn the sequence.  Set a regular routine where the chores would normally be done during the day and evening.

Nick vacumming_Tabor Hills (3)

Nick is happy to help out and beams with pride when I say, “Good job big guy” (followed by an elbow bump)!  As adults, we all like to be complimented for doing a good job.  Our kids and adults with special needs are no exception.  Pick a household task and give it a try with your child; never set limits.  You’d be surprised at what they can accomplish, and help you out in the process.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.


Follow Nick:

Facebook @Down Syndrome With A Slice Of Autism







Teresa is the Author of "A New Course: A Mother's Journey Navigating Down Syndrome and Autism" and the mother of two boys. Her youngest son, Nick is 29 years old and has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD). Teresa's passion is helping others understand and navigate co-occurring Down syndrome and autism. She is a DS-ASD consultant, advocate, speaker, and author. Follow Nick's world on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest @Down Syndrome With A Slice of Autism and on Twitter @tjunnerstall. For more information and media links, visit

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