Posted: Wed 21st Sep 2016

Students Launch Cook Book For Children With Autism

This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 21st, 2016

A team of innovative therapists have designed a fun cookbook for children with autism. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Five Wrexham Glyndwr University graduates teamed up to create a collection of easy to follow recipes for children aged six to nine with high functioning autism with sensory seeking behaviours. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Kim Williams, from Team Sensation, who all recently graduated as Occupational Therapists, said: “The book focuses on how the actions used within cooking and baking can be exaggerated to provide sensory input of a nature which may help an autistic child regulate and meet their individual sensory needs. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The simple snappy language and colours used within the book have been chosen as children with SPD (sensory processing disorder) can get distracted by busy visuals. The pictures have been taken in such a way that they could be used alone as visual prompts to follow recipes.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The team, including Amanda Monkman from Buckley, Helen Stevenson, from Llanfairfechan, Hannah Oliver, from Shropshire and Llio Jones from Ruthin, designed Sensational Cookbook as part of their Creative Educational Resource assignment. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

They chose the sensory approach to help children with autism as more than 90 per cent of those with autism have sensory abnormalities either, over-sensitivity, unresponsiveness or sensory-seeking behaviours. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Kim, an Occupational Therapist for Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board, added: “The whole philosophy of Occupational Therapy is to empower and enable people to do the things they want and need to do in their lives using meaningful and purposeful occupations. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“What can be more meaningful than being able to do a fun activity with the person who cares for you at the same time as being able to regulate your sensory seeking behaviours and then getting to eat yummy food. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The recipes have been chosen to create delicious food which provides a high sensory experience for the person eating the food, for example spicy or crunchy food.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A carers’ handbook also comes with the book which provides education about sensory processing, and information on using the cook book to optimise sensory experiences. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Sensational Cookbook has attracted interest and the team, who all work in healthcare, are looking into launching it with the hope of producing a whole series of cookbooks. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

For more information on the Occupational Therapy course visit the Wrexham Glyndwr University website. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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