Today we'll be talking and tackling some FAQ's about chore charts. Below are a handful of frequently asked questions and some brief answers to those by the Goally team. To learn about how to create and reward chore charts check out our previous two blog posts on those topics.
What type of chore charts work best for kids with ADHD or autism?
Visual chore charts work best for children with ADHD or autism. Overall, children with ADHD or autism are very visual and literal individuals. Having simple, easy to understand tasks set out before them that they can either read on their own or recognize from simple pictures gives them a sense of independence and self-confidence.
Is including rewards on a chore chart a good idea?
Indicating clear rewards on a chore chart can help children with ADHD and autism draw a connection between the completion of chores and reinforcement. Thus, it is important when making a behavior or chore chart for kids that the tasks are very basic and designated individually one step at a time. The goal is to set the child up for the best chance of success and so they can be rewarded immediately after completing a task.
A 2018 study demonstrated that children with ADHD have reduced motivation the longer they wait. Keeping tasks limited to one step ensures the task can be completed in a timely fashion so that kids are still motivated for their reward.
Should a chore chart be daily, weekly, or monthly?
Depending on your child and how well they respond to your scheduling, chore charts can be laid out according to any timeframe you feel is manageable. However, it is important that you do not get too generic with tasks.
For children with autism and ADHD it might be better to start on a smaller scale by outlining a single week, with chores assigned to each day. You could even create a single-day chore chart, breaking up each chore into mini-tasks separated by morning and evening.
Making sure your schedule is limited in scope will also enable you to combine your chore chart with a behavior chart. For example, a parent might create a daily routine for a child with autism that shows what chores, tasks, and behaviors are expected of them throughout a single day.
Do chore apps for kids work?
Chore apps for kids were invented with the best of intentions. However, for children with ADHD or autism, these chore apps just aren’t as effective. On an iPad or tablet, kids can easily be distracted by games, music, and other forms of entertainment easily accessed by those devices.
Even on “lockdown mode’, kids can still become easily distracted from their chore chart app, especially with kids who already have attention challenges!
Chore apps typically are too universal and don’t consider the needs of children who have ADHD or autism. They’re also usually very busy and overwhelming to look at, doing more harm than good for a child who has special needs.
Ashley Lavoie is a mom of three and manages both child and adult ADHD and neonatal diabetes. She is advocating for awareness and loves writing and connecting with other families like hers.
Editor's note: This information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as needed, with a qualified healthcare provider and/or BCBA.