Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bedroom Cleaning.... Lunatic Style

This comes from a reader question (LOVE THAT!) How do you get your child to clean his room?

Here is my take on kids' room cleaning... If he doesn't do it then I have to therefore every frustrating baby step I take in the direction towards his independence is one more step towards one less thing I have to do.

With that goal in mind, here are some steps which **may** help get your ASD kid(s) cleaning their room! I'm hoping and wishing right along there with you!!!! You will have to repeat steps again and again, I've taken literally months almost years doing the same step over and over. My fall down is consistency and regularity, maybe you'll be better with that and have results faster!

1. Clean his room with him in there. Don't expect any help but talk about his toys and favorite clothes as you pick them up. If he helped in any way... Big praise! "Thanks SO much for helping me! You made this job so much easier!!!"

2. After that try parallel cleaning, do it together! Pick up a shirt and ask him to pick up a shirt then put them away (or in the hamper) at the same time. Keep talking, "Where do you think this goes?" "Is this clean or dirty?" "Where do we keep the cars again? I forget". Maybe even make a game of it, "I've found a red shirt! Can you find a red shirt?" "I've found Thomas the Tank Engine, can you find Percy?" Be careful here, this could set up an anxiety situation if they can't find what you are suggesting. Maybe only suggest things you can see for yourself. 

3. After that hand over hand, ask him to pick up his things, hand stuff to him if you have to, continue to talk your way though where it goes.

4. Sit on the floor and talk him through doing it himself. At this point, you've already got the dialog, there isn't going to be any new words or requests thrown his way. Nothing unexpected unless you are willing to help, he may find comfort in the routine at this point. It took a while to get through this one for us, we were doing an in-between steps for a while.

5. At last! Just keep him company while he picks it up and helps if he asks. It seems to my boys that one of the main reasons why they don't clean their room (or play by themselves in the basement) is because they don't want to be alone. It isn't that they can't or won't do the task they just don't want to do it alone. 

6. I think the final goal will be for him to clean it himself with a spot check at the end.

All that said, we are near the end of the process with my 9 year old (and it's taken 7 years to get this far) and we are somewhere in the middle for my 7 year old who is more stubborn.

As always, any suggestions you have I can absolutely add! Leave a comment and let me know what works for you! Everything on this page is working documents and I would love to share your ideas!


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