Doing Dishes While Autistic

Beth Hankoff
2 min readJul 9, 2022

We All Have Things That We Just Can’t Take

Dirty house photo created by freepik —

I don’t know what it is. Household chores are certainly not my favorite thing in the world, but I do them regularly because I want a clean home. I started living on my own three years ago when I moved into a one-bedroom apartment. Positives: less space to clean. Negatives: no dishwasher.

The lack of a dishwasher didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. It shouldn’t be a big deal, right? This is not a big deal! I live alone, so how many dishes can one person even generate?

Many more than I want to wash, that’s how many.

It’s one of those frustrating things that never seem to be done. Dishes keep accumulating and have to be washed in perpetuum. That’s true with all cleaning, but dishes really laugh in your face about it. They have a snarky laugh on top of it.

“Ha!” the clean dishes laugh from the drainer, “You thought you were done! What’s that dirty plate doing there? …What? You had to eat lunch?! What a lame excuse!They all chortle so hard they shake. I’m afraid they’ll break themselves! Please give it a rest, guys. It’s just not that funny. Besides, you’re being kind of ableist.

The intriguing thing is that my son moved into a small apartment a few months ago and is having the same issue. He can manage the cleaning well enough, but those dishes!

I should ask him if his are mocking him, too.



Beth Hankoff

Neurodivergent educator, changemaker, advocate, mother, and follower of Jesus.