During our upcoming Awesomism Quilt tour, we plan to travel around the country and talk to different organizations about many issues facing the autism community, including the low employment rate for autistic adults. (See our Sponsorship tab above if you would like to help us). Going hand-in-hand with employment skills are different Life Skills. For instance the ability to dress, clean and fix your own meals, of course depending on the level of autonomy that the autistic individual is capable of.
We have emphasized to Peyton the importance of good, balanced nutrition. We have also taught him a few basic cooking skills and most importantly, the ability to follow directions when preparing a meal. He usually fixes his own breakfast, anything from a bowl of cereal, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, pancakes or even French Toast. For lunch, he makes his own sandwich, sometimes grilled cheese, grilled ham and cheese etc… He tries to mix it up. And tho Lynne or myself usually prepares dinner, we make sure that he has a balanced meal with at least one veggie.
Once, while making something on the stove for breakfast, he melted the food cover for the microwave. This provided us the opportunity to enforce some important safety cautions, such as making sure there is nothing flammable on or near the stove. Now, he always checks that there is nothing that could catch on fire while cooking. We still have a big concern about his cooking when we are out, so he will usually just prepare something in the microwave if we are not around.
Work with your awesomism child to see what level of cooking they can attain. If microwaving is the limit that you and they feel comfortable, then get healthy foods to keep in the freezer. Some may really take to cooking and discover a hidden talent and possible employment future. Look on YouTube for recipes and cooking videos. The ability to look up and learn things from Youtube is a great skill in itself and can teach them many Life Skills that you may not have the time (let’s face….patience) to teach.
A good understanding of life’s basics is a great start to securing your child’s future.