The Benefits of Cooking for Students with Autism

The Benefits of Cooking for Students with Autism

“Cooking is love made visible…”

Cooking has many benefits for people of all ages and especially for students with autism! Cooking activities are an excellent way for students with autism to develop independent and functional living skills, develop greater awareness and self-confidence, overcome any sensory challenges, practice working on strengthening fine motor skills, learn through academic and therapeutic activities and so much more!

Cooking can help students with autism develop in all areas of their learning, as it also helps with developing focus and following directions too..!

To understand the benefits of cooking for students with autism, we are going to breakdown the positive impacts it has been shown to have on the following areas, such as:

  • Overcoming Sensory Challenges – Cooking exposes students to different textures and smells through the practice of cooking different foods and touch. If a student is having difficulty with certain types of food textures, like the slimy feeling of an egg, exposing them to fun cooking activities such as following a slime recipe, can help to de-synthesize. 
  • Develops Fine Motor Skills – Students who have low muscle tone and difficulties completing fine motor tasks (e.g. cutting) can benefit greatly from cooking. Cutting food items, practicing certain movements like grating, can help to strengthen these muscles and develop this skill.
  • Helps With Following Step-by-Step Instructions – Following recipes and visual step-by-step instructions can help students to remain focused and increase attention span, all while helping students to feel comfortable knowing what is coming up next. 
  • Develops Mathematics Skills – Cooking is the best activity to practice and reinforce Mathematics skills such as measurement, telling time, numbers and sequencing. Using cooking is an interactive way to keep students engaged while practicing important Mathematics skills. 

Interested in implementing cooking activities as part of your student’s plan? If you need support in getting started, Pieces of Inspiration is now sharing weekly strategies and guidance on YouTube and via weekly newsletters! They also offer FREE downloadable resources created by experts in the field! 

Natalie Castro, Founder of Pieces will support you on your journey towards teaching incredible differentiated lessons for students with autism and provide valuable information you can easily access weekly.

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