In an effort to increase community and social opportunities for adolescents with autism, The Social Living Club at Bittersweet Farms is partnering with Owens Community College Culinary Arts Center to offer cooking classes beginning this month. Taught by Dietetic Technology Students and Culinary Students, each class will be two to three hours long.
Each adolescent, age 13-18, will be paired with an area teen student volunteer teen mentor to assist them during the class. Mentors are members of Bittersweet’s Social Living Club, a recreational program that involves adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders in community activities.
There is a need among these adolescents for social interaction, and the goal of the cooking class is to provide a different kind of activity to foster this skill, as well as to collaborate with local businesses while offering volunteer opportunities for teens, according to Shannon Solt, Bittersweet Farms Marketing Coordinator.
The program will help participants to develop and master kitchen safety and hygiene, focusing on fundamental cooking techniques and simple recipes as well as tastings.
Basic life skills, like cooking, are critical for building independence in adolescents with ASD. Success outside the home depends on the development of social skills as well as basic life skills. The aim of the cooking class is to foster that independence by offering social interaction and support.
Bittersweet Inc. is a non-profit corporation that serves community members who have autism, to provide a community of interdependence and a healthy environment where every participant can realize their true potential.
Owens Community College Culinary Arts Center- Heritage Hall
$150 for a five week session
Contact Community Outreach Specialist Heidi LeGrand
at 419-875-6986 ext. 1204 for more information.