In special education school programs, daily living skills are often the focus. That was great and necessary but Jacob just did not see the point in learning to make a bed. Oh, that he could one day live on his own and decide for himself whether or not he’d ever change the sheets or make his bed! Super important skills, such as using a fork, never came easy for him.
Once he was out of high school and started attending a day program, the focus shifted to some sort of work training. It might be sorting bolts or stuffing envelopes. Something to give them a task to learn and complete.
In the program he attends now, they had a shredding business when Jacob first started. Although, he wasn’t interested and couldn’t be coaxed to participate. The manager would tease about Jacob’s office and that he wanted to be in administration. We’d all smile because that seemed as likely as making his own bed.
Not long ago, Jacob was doing everything he could think of to annoy me. I had just finished folding laundry and had a basket of his clean clothes ready to be put away. It dawned on me to get him to carry the basket. Excellent. That would give him something to do which in turn would, hopefully, get him to leave me alone. He took the basket and headed to his room. I was sooooo proud. And he was too. I saw a sense of pride in him that isn’t often caught.
Jacob is pretty good at doing a job if you encourage him along the way. He isn’t going to take any initiative, but given instructions, he may follow through. Pick up your shoes. Bring me that cup. Put this in the refrigerator. Pick up your toys:
I am guilty of doing it myself because that is easier and faster. He doesn’t believe ‘if you pull all this out, you’ll have to pick it up’ because too many times, I’ve had to finish a job such as him pulling out every shirt to find the right one and then him putting them away, looks like this:
Another day and a basket of clothes and Jacob was just the fella to do it. Nicely carried the basket to his room and watched as I got them out.
This may sound silly but it makes me sooooo very happy when he helps in a simple way. Truly couldn’t wait to show his dad photos of him carrying a laundry basket. My expectations are low but I’m not doing him favors by always waiting on him hand and foot. Only so much can be taught but I’m determined to require more him.
Good job Jacob! I’m proud of you.
P.S. The same day Jacob helped with the laundry recently, I heard a commotion and went in the kitchen to find Jacob moving a plant. The one circled here weighs 13 pounds. It’s a heavy pot and he had it by the top edges carrying it about 18 feet. He barely got it on the counter when I intervened. No time for a photo when a pot full of dirt is about to fall!
We have had that potted plant for a long, long time. But, I had moved furniture around and he noticed it. He was clearing off the wooden trunk so he could see what was inside. Soooooo, if you need something moved, Jacob is your guy! Sorry, but we cannot guarantee his work! He is not licensed, bonded and insured.