Yes you read it right, a fun way to interact with your child, improve eye contact and get the family washing done at the same time.

As a parent of a toddler, a child that is shy or intraverted, has Autism or language and learning difficulties you simply want nothing more than to see your child look at you and smile or at least acknowledge you are there. Sometimes this can be extremely difficult for a child and just as heartbreaking for the parents.

I wanted to share with you some stress free activities I did with not just with my child that is shy but all my children. The goal was to be able to spend time together, encourage eye contact and build and understand a range of facial expressions in a relaxed way whilst you heard it right… Doing the family laundry, yes doing the Household Chores!

Putting the washing on
1. Encourage your child to stand at the washing machine.
2. Stand back with your basket of clothes to be washed.
3. Wait be silent, when eye contact/eye gazing is met.
4. Gently throw the clothing item for them to catch and place in the washing machine.
5. Continue till the all the clothes are in the washing machine.
6. Encourage your child to help load the washing detergent and turn the washing machine on.

Hanging the clothes on the line can be the same but in reverse to taking the clothes of the line.

Taking the clothes of the line
1. At the close line, encourage your child to stand relatively close.
2. Take off an item of clothing, be silent wait until eye gazing has been met.
3. Gently through your child the item of clothing and point to place into the basket.
4. Continue untill all clothes are in the basket.

Sorting the clothes
1. Make a pile for each member of the household.
2. Encourage your child to sit next to you.
3. Take the item of clothing fromt he washing basket and pass it to your child.
4. Wait till eye contact/eye gazing has been met.
5. Point to which pile he/she is to throw it to.
6. Continue till all items are placed in the pile.

Making fun silly faces and gestures such as thumbs up and clapping made this game fun and encourage further eye gazing and awareness of different facial expressions and how they relate to the situation.

Like I say, I initially started with my son who at the time had mild Autism but a severe language delay but found my other children were keen to get involved, whilst i admit at the time it took a little bit longer to get the washing done it was worth it.

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