Coach in the Kitchen includes a 36-page manual and complete toolkit on teaching groups of students with Aspergers and other forms of Autism Spectrum Disorder how to cook. The instructions for all recipes have been written for a wide range of learners. Triple-tested for clarity and flavour by students and their coaches in the author's cooking school for teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, these recipes are clear and easy to follow. The manual has guidelines on:
• Effective teaching strategies for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs
• Specific visual teaching tools to develop cooking and social skills
• How to quell students’ anxieties
• Suitable introductory activities
• Teaching healthy eating habits using documented learning styles of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Facilitating social development at mealtime
• Teaching conversation skills using The Conversation Menu
• 290 pages of task-analysed recipes — recipes broken into small steps, in simple, clear terms — make explicit everything that needs doing
With an emphasize on healthy eating habits, recipes include standard Nutrition Facts boxes showing nutrients in each serving — calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Every recipe lists all utensils and appliances needed. Major appliances — oven, stovetop, microwave — are listed, too. You can see at a glance if the utensils and appliances required are ones you want to use.
Specially developed for those with Asperger's and other forms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, this cookbook is perfect for anyone learning to cook—whether or not they have special needs.
About the Author:
Since the mid-1980’s, Penny Gill has devoted her life to working with her son, who is on the autism spectrum, and with several committees and organizations dedicated to serving those with special needs. She has presented at many workshops, legislative hearings and conferences, including as key-note speaker. Penny has published articles on autism and nutrition, and on educating those with ASD.
In the 1990’s Penny was President of the Hamilton Chapter of Autism Ontario, when it was considered one of the most active chapters in that organization’s history. Penny served as parent representative on the Autism Team, led by Dr. Peter Szatmari and Dr. Bill Mahoney, at Hamilton Health Sciences.
In a needs survey concerning adults on the spectrum of autism in Hamilton, most parents said they wished to keep their adult offspring with ASD at home for as long as possible, but wanted support doing so. To address this, Penny incorporated the Autism Family Alliance, which has provided educational services and resources to adults and adolescents with autism since 2001. Its flagship program is the cooking school. Penny oversees the charity’s day-to-day operations on a strictly volunteer basis.
Penny holds a law degree from the University of Toronto and graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and McMaster University. She graduated with an Honours B.A. from McGill University, as the Prince of Wales Gold Medallist.