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Raising Special Needs Kids Raising Special Needs Kids

Appropriate Expectations

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:04 PM
  • 18 Replies

My daughter will be three in March and she is my first.  I had never been around a DS child for an extended period of time before she was born, and I'm still not entirely used to it.  I go to school full time and work part time, plus try to spend time with her.  She's in a special ed preschool at a local elementary school, which is helping a lot, but my S/O and I are having a hard time agreeing on what she should be held responsible for.  I'm not sure of her mental age, but it seems like she should be doing more than she is by now - like putting her toys away and helping me sort laundry.  She's getting better, but she's somewhat "disobedient" when we ask her to do something.  At this age, what should I expect from her?  Should she be helping clean her room by now? Or is that asking for too much? Thanks for the advice!

by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sahm2shaina
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:08 PM
My Joseph will be 3 in July, currently he is diagnosed with autism, a receptive expressive speech delay, epilepsy and a cleft palate - we are also waiting on microarray testing results as we suspect a deletion in his chromosomes. At 2.5 he is nowhere near ready to help with chores- my typically developing children (we have four) weren't ready at that age either....start small, right now Joey "helps" by putting an item at a time in his toy box that i hand him and specifically request he put in the box.
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mommaharley
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:22 PM

I try to keep the requests simple, by handing her a toy and then putting another in the toy box to show her what to do.  Is it common to have to show it repeatedly?  I did some ABA tutoring this summer with an autistic boy, and he caught on pretty quickly.  Given, I understand that ASD and DS are two different things altogether, but it seems like she KNOWS what to do, but she's testing her limits.  I've been having a hard time figuring out if she really needs me to show her again or if she wants to see if I'll let her get away with it.

Bellum
by Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Now is the time to start.  Like most kids that age, you will need to help, and tell her specific things to do.  My 11 DS son has the cleanest room by far, and keeps it that way.  He definitely likes order and a tidy room.  Kids with DS can form deep habits, so push good ones now!

mommaharley
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:58 PM

What things are appropriate/inappropriate?  She seems pretty advanced (she's starting to potty train and has a pretty wide array of signs to communicate - though her speech is still behind) but I still don't want her to think I'm expecting too much from her.

CameronsMommy23
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 12:09 AM
We have typically developing three yr olds and they will "help" pick up toys sometimes. Cognitively they understand us asking them to pick up but at that age they may or may not want to depending on the moment. Lol When our special needs child was 3 he could also pick up toys when asked. We were told at age 3 typically you can establish "chores" & "helping" but they won't do it without help quite yet.
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darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jan. 4, 2013 at 6:00 AM
1 mom liked this

Honestly, I would just keep things simple...my son is 4 years old with the development of a 10-12 month old, so we don't ask anything of him right now as he doesn't understand.  Hugs and good luck!

jjamom
by Michele on Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Usually in preschool (even SN programs) they are expecting the children to help clean up, so I am thinking she is probably doing it (at least to some extent) at school.  Try making it fun, maybe singing a song "clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere, clean up, clean up, everybody do their share..." Or making a clear expectation like "if you want another toy, we have to put this one away first" and be consistent so that it becomes routine.  My son with DS has always loved to "help" and I have always fostered it, even when his idea of helping me fold laundry was to roll it into a ball and put it in the basket!  Sorting is a good skill for them too.  My son loves to unload the silverwear from the dishwasher basket (I remove all knives first, of course), he will put the spoons in the spoon section, forks in the fork section, etc.  I don't think it's asking too much to have her help pick her toys up.  You obviously couldn't tell her "go clean your room" and expect her to do it, but guiding her and showing her how and having her participate is really a good thing.  One of the best pieces of advice I got when my son was very young was to treat him the same as we treat our other children, whenever possible.  This isn't possible in all situations, but really does apply to so much.  Good luck.

mommaharley
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

She really does like to "help" when it comes to the dishes or laundry, but when it's HER room, it's like suddenly she's completely uninterested.  She'll help me "fold" (bundle) laundry and she'll throw her clothes in the right drawers (after she takes them out, of course), but it's just such a struggle when it comes to her cleaning up after herself.

trio8707
by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:40 AM
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She sounds like a typical 3 year old in terms of behavior! I have 5 year old triplets, 2 of them have cerebral palsy.  My child without special needs hated helping out, unless it was something I didn't want her help for LOL  She is still terrible at cleaning her room.  I think it's just a kid thing.... keep working at it! She will get it down eventually!

sammygrl77
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:54 AM
I don't have experience with this. But I remember when dd was 2ish, the therapist recommended working with her to pick up toys. Her method worked well for my difficult child.

Basically break it down into manageable things like pick up one type of toy at a time. At first I would take her arm and gently guide her to pick up each toy and put it in the bin. Repeat as many times as necessary.
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