Category Archives: cooking

Autism Cooks

ido_cooking_4I have written previously about my love of cooking. Cooking has given me a lot, and I’m not just referring to the food.

I have to remember instructions in recipes (multi-step planning, for all you OTs out there). I have ido_cooking_3to search for and retrieve ingredients, utensils and cooking tools. This is important for people who have autism.

I have to handle sharp objects and hot objects. I am aware of personal safety.

I have to control impulses and not eat unfinished food (especially cookie dough).

I have to work on fine motor skills in chopping, pouring and measuring.

I have to be patient, plan, anticipate and multi-task.

I have to be present while it cooks.

I learn self-help skills washing up.

All in all, it’s an “OT session”ido_cooking_2 I can have fun with since I’m actually doing something meaningful.

Bon Apetit!ido_cooking_1

Cooking with Autism

I have enjoyed watching TV chefs for years. My favorite is the charming French-American chef, Jacques Pepin. His helpful instructions gave me the confidence to help in the kitchen. Most days I assist my parents in meal preparation. I peel vegetables, chop, stir and do whatever is needed. I also enjoy baking. I love eating the finished products. I also prepare my own breakfast of eggs and toast.

My efforts in the kitchen have produced great results for me. I have gotten much better control in getting my body to correctly follow commands. I am a million times better at retrieving requested food items on demand and searching for them. I am noticing my ability to sustain attention in the kitchen is lengthening, but that is still a work in progress. I see improvements in fine motor too due to using my hands forĀ chopping, peeling, opening cans and so on.

Cooking is also a good opportunity to work on self control and impulsivity. I need to learn to not sample the raw cookie batter, no matter how tempting.

People with autism need to be part of normal life and gaining kitchen skills may be a great way activity to teach participation in the kinds of activities that everyone does.