Developing Life Skills: Chores

October 10th, 2015

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:

  • Teaching skills and competency
  • Keeping kids with ASD engaged
  • Teaching independence
  • Teaching charting and calendaring
  • Teaching about money or reward
  • Teaching the value of work
  • Non-disabled peers or siblings are expected to do them
  • 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.

Developmental Age: 2-3

  • Put 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

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 handheld vacuum
  • Clear kitchen table
  • Dry and put away dishes
  • Brush teeth alone

Developmental Age: 6-7

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

Developmental Age: 8-9

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

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

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

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 and freezer
  • Clean tub and shower
  • Make an appointment
  • Find and use a circuit breaker
  • 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. They can be simple photographs with or without labels, or they can also be more complex to fit your needs. TACA has free samples in the Form Library. 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

Autism Journey Blueprints
Parent Mentor Program
Find a TACA Chapter near you
Email or Phone

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5 Responses

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  4. […] understand the demands of living in their own home. You should start slowly by assigning just one chore and breaking the task down into its most basic steps. Work alongside your child to model the […]