Reward Charts can Improve Daily Life for Autistic Children and Their Parents
By Jennifer Edmundson
Parents and caregivers of children with autism know firsthand the many challenges autistic children face in their daily lives. While the behavioral characteristics of autism are as unique as the children themselves, autistic behaviors often include deficits in social skills and communication, as well as repetitive behaviors and sensitivity to changes in routine, all of which can make completing daily tasks more difficult.
Although there is no cure for autism and treatment options vary widely, behavioral therapy remains the most widely-taken approach to treatment for children on the autism spectrum.
Behavioral therapy works by reinforcing desirable behaviors while eliminating unwanted ones. Reward systems such as charts or token boards can help to encourage desirable behaviors through recognition, reinforcement, and repetition, and are proven to be effective in teaching new skills and behaviors.
HOW REWARD CHARTS CAN HELP
All children thrive on structure and routine. For children with autism, repetition and routine become even more critical, because autistic children often resist trying new things. Parenting and teaching aids that establish and reinforce routines, using visual and tactile stimuli, can be very effective.
Kenson Kids, for example, offers customizable “I Can Do It!” Reward Charts that track both short and long-term goals and motivate healthy habits through praise and incentive (and some focus on specific behaviors such as tooth brushing and potty training). The chore cards included with these products utilize colorful pictures to illustrate each task, aiding in understanding and communication, and attachable three-dimensional stars exposes the child to tactile stimuli in a non-threatening way. All of the charts work with most Autism picture programs.
AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
Over 3.5 million people are considered on the autism spectrum in the United States alone. Autism is the fast-growing developmental disability, with 1 in 68 births diagnosed in the United States annually. With that number continuing to rise, its more important than ever for us to fund research and find effective treatments.
This is why Kenson Kids is proud to announce a strategic affiliation with the Autism Society of America. Through this program and for the month of April – National Autism Awareness Month – Kenson Kids will donate 10% of ALL WEBSITE SALES to the Autism Society of America. As a company working with this growing population of families with autism, we want to do our part to help.
ABOUT THE AUTISM SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Autism Society of America has been improving the lives of all affected by autism for over 50 years and envisions a world where individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life. They provide advocacy, education, information, referral, support, and community at national, state, and local levels.
ABOUT KENSON KIDS
Kenson Kids, Inc. is a Women in Business Enterprise (WBE) and a leading manufacturer of parenting solution products. Based in Youngsville, NC, Kenson Kids, Inc. was founded by two moms who saw a need (as parents themselves) to create high-quality parenting aid products that really work. From reward charts, daily checklists, and ID bands, to potty training, games and stickers, Kenson Kids’ products help parents, teachers, and caregivers positively influence behavior, manners, and self-esteem, while helping all children thrive at home, school, and in life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Edmundson, co-founder of Kenson Kids, is a mom, business owner, entrepreneur, and psychiatric nurse. Jennifer’s continuing nursing education focus is on autism.
PLAYFUL PARENT INPUT
After meeting Jennifer at the New York Toy Fair this winter, I couldn’t be more excited to partner on a project together. What an honor to meet and feature an article by a mother who has taken her years of experience both with her own children and professionally to create amazing tools for the home and classroom. I wanted to share about the benefits of reward charts this month in honor of Autism Awareness Month and thought sharing this article and information about Kenson Kids charts would be perfect timing.
Most kids thrive when they have structure and routine. Whether you have a child on the spectrum or not, using a reward chart can be a great way to promote positive behavior in your child or help them reach a particular goal. One thing I know to be true is that finding the right behavioral chart is essential. What I love about the I Can Do It! Reward Chart is that it promotes independence, improves self-esteem and it provides practical solutions for families.
The chart comes with everything you need and since each piece is reusable you don’t have to worry about buying new stickers or making a new chart each week. The set comes with: 1 chart with magnetic strips and hanging tabs, 45 reusable plastic reward stars, 20 interchangeable chores and behaviors, 3 blank labels and a easy to follow guide. The behavior tasks and stars are easy to put on the chart since they come with Velcro backing. The interchangeable labels have wording and pictures that read: no whining, feed pets, share toys, set the table, no mean words, no yelling, water the plants, get dressed, make your bed, brush your teeth, get along with others, good manners while others are on the phone, no harming others, help with dishes, go to bed & stay in bed, say please & thank you, good table manners, eat your veggies, go potty, clean your mess. Plus you can create your own.
At the bottom of the reward chart notice there is a spot to write with a dry erase marker how many stars are need to reach the goal and a spot for their reward. I’m sure it seems obvious that it’s important to select a prize that meets your child’s needs. Remember they don’t have to be huge or expensive rewards. Think about what your child loves most. Maybe it’s going to get ice cream, watching their favorite movie or spending time as a family baking cookies. Figure out what they would like to work towards and help them keep their eye on the prize.
I Can Do It! Reward Chart
I Can Do It! Reward Chart Link
Another product I love by Kenson Kids is the Movez board game; a fun and interactive game perfect for kids 3-93! It’s simple to play… You just roll the dice, pick a card then either find it, act it, or do it before the time runs out! The action cards are designed to get kids up and moving in a fun way! I love this unique educational game because it is great for improving coordination and motor skills in a fun way. It also is great for encouraging critical thinking and teaching letters, numbers, shapes, colors and textures. I can’t wait to show case Movez at Escape Velocity this May in the family board game library sponsored by The Playful Parent.
Moves Game Link
FLASH FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY
One lucky fan will be randomly drawn to win a Movez board game by Kenson Kids. Contest closes Sunday April 15, 2018 9:00 AM.
- LIKE the post and COMMENT or use a GIF to show what chore or skill you would like your kid to accomplish.
- TAG a friend or SHARE the post to help spread the word (not mandatory.)
- Check out @Kensonkids facebook page, its a great company to follow.
- This giveaway is not Facebook affiliated.
***It has been an honor and a blessing to work with Kenson Kids on this article! Thank you Kenson Kids for understanding the importance of Autism Awareness by sending The Playful Parent these toys to review and share with families. The Playful Parent is not paid to endorse companies and does not host affiliate links. All pictures, information and review are my own unbiased opinion.***