Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Independent Living Skills-Making Laundry Basic






Before we moved, our (then 16-year old) son, C, 
had recently started doing his own laundry,
as part of his training for independent living.
When we moved to a rental in North Carolina,
there were no laundry facilities,
so I was visiting the laundromat and C had  
Mom's Laundry Service 
doing the job.




After we moved in to our new home,
it took a good 6 months or so to feel settled,
and we were busy with projects that needed attention,
so we let the laundry issue slide.
In this smaller home,
we have a laundry closet in the main hallway to the bedrooms.
It's an adjustment,
but we're so grateful to have laundry facilities.
 (We have plans to renovate it to make it more efficient.)


Having accomplished a few of the bigger projects in the house,
it was time to get back to teaching living skills to C.
The decision was made that each person will do his/her own laundry.
It's been my sole responsibility for almost 2 decades (WHAT?)
and it feels a bit strange to let it go.
Knowing it's all in the best interest of our boy's future,
I relinquished the task.



The first thing we did was create these visual instructions.
Folks on the autism spectrum usually learn visually,
so the straightforward steps are accompanied by pictures
to help him assimilate the process.
We're still getting used to the idea of self-serve laundry,
but I think in a few weeks' time, it'll become routine.




The items for doing laundry are all in plain sight.
I'm using Soap Nuts instead of traditional detergent,
but C will most likely stick to store-bought, like his dad.
(The second photo shows our stash of liquid detergent for the boys.) 
The Soap Nuts are there if he wants to try them,
as we are always trying to expand his options,
so that he learns to deal with changes.




Homemade stain remover is fairly easy to make,
and with the ingredients right on the bottle,
he should be able to mix up his own whenever he needs it.
He uses A LOT of stain remover!



The wool dryer balls remain in the dryer,
so there is not much for him to remember when it comes to drying clothes.
We are happy with the results of these little orbs,
noticing that our drying time is decreased
and some of the static electricity is removed.
I do use my drying rack outside or in front of the fireplace when I can,
but C doesn't get the same charge out of hanging up his clothes to dry.
So, the dryer is what he needs to practice using.
Again, the option of line drying is there should he want to use it,
or if he needs an alternative
(if his dryer is on the fritz or the power goes out).

These simple steps will help him ease into 
doing one more thing for himself.
He is taking pride in being able to do things independently.
I'm proud of all the strides he has made.


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