Tuesday, June 13, 2017

April 2nd- Daily Autism Post- Motivating Differently

Autism makes Dexter's brain work differently and so, I adjust my expectations accordingly. That is very evident today. Because I'm in school, my house is a bit neglected, and I count on Shawn and the kids to do a lot of the cleaning and maintenance. They do a great job, but it needs a good scrub down and a family cleaning day. (Shawn is feeling a little overwhelmed by the to-do list. Time to set homework aside and help catch up!) 
I expect all of the kids to help. Even Dex. He hates cleaning. I get that. It's not fun. But autism doesn't get you out of responsibilities. I just make it work for him. Dex needs to see progress, not look at the big picture, and have a list. He's great at picking up, loading and unloading the dishwasher, running things around the house, wiping things, organizing things, and taking care of the dogs. 
To make the day manageable, I do a couple of things. First, I add things to his list three tasks at a time. A huge list is overwhelming. I make sure they are small jobs. I'd never say, "clean your room." That's too much. He will clean his entire room, bit by bit. Same work, given differently. I also make sure there are jobs in there that he enjoys like giving the dogs treats and we build in breaks. When he's starting to get annoyed, we take a 30-minute break. He's about to take one after an hour of work. I'm happy with that. And lastly, headphones. Cleaning is loud. He hates the noise of things moving, vacuuming and carpet cleaners.
So today... The bad- everyday tasks that I do with ease can be very frustrating for an Aspie. His brain tells him that this job is big, pointless, and that his time would be better spent studying dog books or playing video games. 
The good- rather than fighting his brain, I try to find ways to work with it. Make this jobs rewarding and productive. And manageable.
Also, I'm not above bribery. The kid works for M&M's. Then, there is a point. I haven't had to resort to that today. However, the day is young...

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