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Over the last several decades the strong pediatric focus in autism studies has created a better understanding of childhood psychopathology and the neurobiological causes of this condition. This intense interest in children with autism has been, however, at the expense of the adult cohort, the largest group on the spectrum. Though "neglected" for decades in both research and practice, it has begun to be acknowledged that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will spend most of their lives as adults and these years merit both attention and resources.
This analysis will provide a brief overview of the health-related status of adults with ASD and the most striking nutritional patterns. As a means of contributing to the emerging interest in the adult cohort, this article will position the development of cooking skills as a therapeutic method of enhancing nutritional status and contributing to an increased quality of life through greater independence. Subsequently, Active Engagement, an innovative hands-on approach for the development of cooking skills on the autism spectrum, will be introduced. An examination of how this teaching framework can be effectively implemented will be demonstrated via a description of a snacking program designed for this population.
CPE Level: 2
Learning Need Codes: 3020, 4020, 5180, 9060
Performance Indicators: 12.2.6, 8.1.2, 8.3.1
- Identify at least three health concerns commonly seen in adults with autism.
- Explain the four motivational climates of Active Engagement.
- Describe The Snack Zone program and identify two factors driving program development.