#StayandPlay- Make daytime fun by engaging in household work during lockdown
The lockdown period can be challenging to many children with disabilities because it is a change from their regular routine. In our feature #StayandPlay, we bring different activities that children with disabilities can engage in while staying indoors. Today, we have 18 year old Sherin Mary who is a poet and writer. Sherin, who has autism, is busy helping her mother Sangeetha John with all the household chores during this lockdown.
18 year old Sherin Mary from Kochi is an ardent writer and poet. This youngster who was diagnosed with autism at a young age has already published her own books too. This lockdown period, Sherin is busy helping her mother Sangeetha John complete all the household chores because their domestic help is on leave. Sherin has taken over basic tasks like mopping, sweeping and keeping all tables clean in the house. Sangeetha says that her daughter is thoroughly enjoying the new tasks.
Importance of involving in activities
Children with autism are prone to anxiety and extreme tension during this lockdown period due to uncertainty. They are introduced to a new schedule which might not go too well with most children under the autism spectrum disorder. That is why it is important to focus on enhancing living skills of the child including laundry, chopping vegetables or even cooking. Experts point out that involving in household activities can help children with autism remain calm.
Sherin was home-schooled throughout her life. Hence, staying indoors is nothing new to this youngster. “But Sherin misses her occasional hang-outs. We go outside for lunch and dinners every week. Since we can’t do that anymore, Sherin is a little upset”, says Sangeetha. “Moreover, she was worried about rising number of Coronavirus cases and used to get anxious about it too. So through poetry she calms herself down”, adds Sangeetha.
But Sherin’s new tasks are keeping her involved and happy, a huge relief to Sangeetha.
Enjoying household works to the fullest
Sangeetha has divided all the household cleaning works between Sherin and younger daughter Shreya. According to her, both of them are doing a remarkable job. The important and daily tasks assigned to Sherin includes mopping, sweeping and cleaning the tables. These tasks are demonstrated in a step-by-step manner to Sherin.
Mopping and sweeping– Sherin tries to do one room a day. Firstly, Sangeetha demonstrates how to do the task. Then, Sherin is given assistance while doing it. For instance, Sangeetha tells her to push forward the mopping stick during the cleaning process. Sherin does it just like how it is instructed to her. Then, she takes it forward from there. Like Sangeetha says, perfection doesn’t matter. It is all about learning a new task.
Cleaning tables– Sherin is in-charge of cleaning all the dusty tables in the house including the dining table. The task is demonstrated to her and Sherin follows. Sangeetha ensures to supervise throughout the task.
Sherin also loves to serve food and juices made by her mother and sister. “Learning such tasks are going to help Sherin during her entire life. These activities are new and she is thoroughly enjoying it as well”, adds Sangeetha.
Sherin is also part of a virtual poetry group where renowned and established poets teach her new poetry skills. So Sherin is fully occupied throughout the day.
Watch in Sign Language
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