One of the first questions that we often get from new clients and families is, “What can I do to successfully transition to independence?” So, we thought we’d create a blog series to answer that question! While we at Advance LA pride ourselves on using evidence-based strategies and interventions, we do these things in unique, interesting, and fun ways. The truth is, our coaches are very dynamic and they do SO MANY great things to help support transition for teens and young adults with special needs.
Each week we’ll post a new story featuring one of our coaches and some of the individualized and exceptional things they’ve done with their clients as well as any “insider tips” they may have on the process of transitioning to independence.
First up: Eric B.!
Eric is one of our newest coaches and already he’s a total rock star.
Challenge: One of Eric’s clients is getting ready to go off to college for the first time and told Eric that he was nervous about being able to cook for himself. His client, Aaron, said that he has some “sensory issues” with foods and textures and is a “pretty picky eater.” He also mentioned that any time he’s tried to cook something that his mom has made before, he doesn’t like it, “because it never comes out tasting as good.”
Goal: Aaron wants to be more comfortable and confident in the kitchen, while also finding new foods that he likes and can prepare himself once he gets to college.
Intervention: Each week Aaron and Eric brainstorm some possible foods that he might like together. Then, Eric helps Aaron get organized in the kitchen and teaches him how to cook them on his own. Once the meal is prepared, Aaron does a taste test. If he approves, Eric helps Aaron write down the recipe and instructions. Then, they put it into a unique cookbook that Aaron can take to school with him in the fall.
Outcome: So far they’ve had a couple successes and a couple failures in the kitchen, but the true success is that Aaron is expanding his palate, learning to cook, and gaining confidence in the kitchen!
Plan: The next step that Eric will do with Aaron is to begin budgeting and grocery shopping for the ingredients each week—that way Aaron will continue practicing his cooking skills all while making further strides towards greater independent living!
Check out one of Aaron’s favorite recipes: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/quesadilla/