5 Smart Chores for Hypersensitive Kids

By Erica Patino, MA
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Kids who are hypersensitive overreact to things like loud noises, harsh smells and textures. Chores that trigger your child’s sensory issues can be a problem. But some of these options may be a perfect fit!

Bringing In the Newspaper

If your child is extra sensitive to noise, bringing in the paper may be a good daily chore. You might also put her in charge of getting the mail from the mailbox. Another option: gathering up all the paper that’s going into recycling. If she’s sensitive to the smell of newspapers or the creak of the mailbox opening, however, you may want to give her different chores.

Writing To-Do Lists

Your child still wants to take on responsibility and know that she’s helping you, even if sensory issues keep her from certain chores. You might give her the task of writing to-do lists for things your family needs to get done. Or preparing the weekly grocery list. She can also write down appointments and events on the family calendar if you keep one.

Doing Dishes

Depending on your child’s age, you may want to put her in charge of loading and unloading the dishwasher. If she doesn’t mind the clanking noise of utensils and glasses, setting the table can be a good daily chore. She might also help clear the table and throw away the scraps if she isn’t sensitive to smells.

Helping With Laundry

If your child is OK with the smell of detergent and the texture of dryer sheets or wet clothes, there are a number of laundry-related chores she can do. She can help gather the dirty clothes and bring them to the laundry room. Depending on her age, she can run the load, and help fold and put clothes away.

Straightening Up

Tidying up the house is a good chore for most kids, unless they have organization issues. If the items don’t trigger her sensory issues, there are many ways your child can help straighten up. She might put away all the toys or organize the front closet.

Your child may not be able to handle certain chores. But if you choose tasks carefully, she can still gain the benefits of having regular responsibilities.

About the Author

About the Author

Erica Patino, MA 

is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Molly Algermissen, PhD 

is an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and clinical director of PROMISE.

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