When an autistic person or anyone with a disability moves out on their own, many times, they rely on the assistance of community help. This can include seeking the help of a food pantry for supplementing their food supply. Sometimes items in the supplement can contain food that doesn’t have directions for preparation of that item. This can make an autistic person or anyone who lacks such skills of preparing foods that should be known very confusing,
This factor came to me as one day I was preparing a dinner that I wanted to supplement with vegetables. I randomly chose a can of green beans because I wanted to have something that I normally didn’t experience having in some time. As I opened the can with the can opener, I realized there was no directions for warming them. To an autistic person, this can be ever so confusing because our brains are mostly programmed to follow directions rigidly But, there wasn’t any for a simple can of green beans.
I shouldn’t get so bent out of shape, but when I don’t know, I ask those in my support system for guidance. One time I was unsure of how to defrost ground beef, then when my mother didn’t answer, I in a frantic rush for an answer jumped to the next support. By the time they answered and the call was completed, my mother called back. Sometimes being impatient is an issue that I have. I realize that I need to work on that. Nonetheless the skills needed to mention above were commenced.
The Internet can be a great tool for finding out the necessary information you need about basic skills needed to be independent. You of course have to add a side of common sense to the idea and then use your best judgement to make an independent decision that benefits you. With the green beans, I chose to put them in a saucepan and add some flavorings like salt, pepper, butter and cooking oil. When I felt they were hot enough, I took them off for consumption and they were the best-tasting green beans I had in a long time from a can.
My point is that you have to do what works for you. Living in my previous living arrangements, it wasn’t easy to cook food. The food never tasted right, partly because I wasnt patient. I would say that I am more patient now than I ever have been. COVID has kind of tamed me down in this regard and made me realize that I need to enjoy my creations. I also have to give credit to my day program because they have made me realize I need to combat my fears and go into the vocational kitchen of their facility so that I can learn the skills that are essential to daily living.
The banner picture I have included in this blog post is of a breakfast that I cooked that was inspired by my day program and the need to be more conscious of what I am consuming. The food is of a breakfast nature and includes food that I have learned to cook in the vocational kitchen at the day program. I have found that it is best to have foods that are easy to learn that have clear, concise directions such as the sausage patties pictured. They have precise directions for cooking. However, the eggs, while not a totally sound skill, I have grasped the concept to a point of making edible eggs, however I have difficulty with some areas of egg preparation and it is a work in progress.
Being autistic can sometimes result in having gastrointestinal issues with your body. I am beginning to realize that I have not been exempt from this issue as I have been experiencing issues that mostly stem from foods that are unknown of their origin such as commercial food venues. I have been studying and learning about my food and also how it affects my behavioral health that I realize that I have to settle with cooking more meals at home and being accustomed to the foods that I know are safe. It isn’t an easy decision, but it is one that must be made in order to protect the integrity of my body and my overall health. I will elaborate on some of these connections in this week’s Wellness Wednesday post.