Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 2 - Page 60

SPOTLIGHT on SUCCESS Special Day Cooking: A Life Skills Cookbook by Beverly Worth Palomba Special Day Publishing, San Francisco, 1st Edition (October 2013) Review by: Catherine DeCenzo F ood, clothing and shelter—all are necessities for living independently. Sounds pretty basic, right? But when it comes to the food part—cooking a meal or preparing a snack— those with special needs can be confronted with a dizzying array of challenges once they step foot in a kitchen. But if provided with simple, concise and easy-to-read instructions, learning to handle and prepare food can be a culinary coup that provides individuals with essential life skills and selfconfidence. After developing a culinary arts class for her students, Palomba, a special education teacher, found that there was a lack of cookbooks easy enough for her students to read and follow. She filled the void by creating this book with easy-to-follow instructions and tips to help parents guide their children through the minefield known as the kitchen. She provides tips on safety, such as using a plastic knife, rubber backed cutting boards that don’t slip, etc. She provides consistent, step-bystep prompts for the reader to first gather ingredients, second gather equipment, and then cook. And on every page is a reminder to put ingredients away, wash and dry all dishes, and wipe the cooking area. The pages are clean with a lot of white space and are color-coded to easily locate breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, with drinks (Cool Orange Julius, anyone?) snacks, soups, salads, and des- 60 Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses serts (she had me at Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding!) bringing up the rear. Large typefaces and bolded first words in the instructions (Open, Pour, Measure, etc.) allow the content to flow and the reader to follow along with ease. This delightful cookbook can be used all year round and includes holiday recipes such as