Want an easy way to get our kids to gain independence and grow positive self-esteem?
We started something new last week, ‘I am a great helper.’ I got this idea after reading Alix’s entry on functional learning activities for children with autism and another online article, ‘Growing Independence‘ by Healthy Children.
In Alix’s entry, she has a picture of one of their ‘gardeners’ in her school and she purported that functional activities help to increase our children with autism ‘autonomy, self-help and daily living skills’. In Growing Independence, it was also written that daily routines and assigning responsibilities are great ways to inculcate independence in our children. It also states that assigning responsibilities are a great way to increase their self-esteem.
So, taking into account C’s visual memory, Alix’s photo on the entry and me hoping to create a better sounding ‘responsibility board’, I took our easel board and wrote the words, ‘I am a great helper’. I also wrote the two things I wanted C to help in. First, he has to water the plant daily. (*We don’t have a garden in the house. Just a small plant.) Second, he would have to help to clean and tidy the house.
When I first introduced this board to C, I asked him to read the words on the board. Next, I showed and guided him to do what is written on the board. We ended with me asking,
C, have you done all the things on the board?
Great! You are a great helper!
C gets to put a stamp on the board whenever he finishes all the ‘responsibilities’.
Let’s hope this becomes a daily routine which he will do without any reminder from me or daddy.
On hindsight, I think I am not precise enough with what it means by helping to keep the house clean and tidy as when I tell C to keep the toys, I would need to explain to him that that is a way to keep the house clean and tidy.
Whereas for the first responsibility, C immediately heads for the plant in the house and waters it after reading it. So for any of you who is thinking of creating this board, you might need to be more precise with the rules.
Have you tried anything new this week? Do share with me if you have.
Have an awesome week ahead!
A, B and C 🙂