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Education Archive

Active Engagement: Resolving Common Problems for Individuals with IDD in Learning to Cook

Date: February 7, 2019
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

Active Engagement: Resolving Common Problems for Individuals with IDD in Learning to Cook



Videos Referenced During the Webinar

Removing a Tab Top Can in Active Engagement


Three Methods for Mixing in Active Engagement 


Use of a Can Opener in Active Engagement


Using a Tabletop Scissors in Active Engagement

Videos have been provided by Janice Goldschmidt 


Content Overview:

Presented by Janice Goldschmidt, MS, RD, LDN 

This presentation will draw on a newly published volume from AAIDD entitled “Teaching Authentic Cooking Skills to Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Active Engagement”. The author, Janice Goldschmidt, will provide a quick overview of the book then launch into a demonstration of how to address the most common issues that arise when supporting acquisition of cooking skills. Each person with IDD has unique challenges and abilities; consequently, there is no single path to development of authentic and generalizable cooking skills for this population. At the same time, there are common difficulties that are manifested across this cohort and which can be anticipated – and addressed -- when designing appropriate activities. 

These include: 
- Difficulties in opening food packaging: A range of options will be offered for opening common products as well as traditional and pull-top cans. 
- Difficulties in mixing ingredients: Though a simple action, many individuals with motor challenges will need special methods to grasp the needed motion and the presentation will offer several. 
Challenges in learning how to safely chop and cut ingredients: The presentation will briefly overview some of the most effective means for teaching prep skills with minimal risk. 

- Over-reliance on others to complete tasks: Independence is often hindered for those with IDD by well-meaning staff and caregivers. Several methods for overcoming this barrier are addressed. 

It should also be noted that traditional text-based recipes are a significant obstacle for many in learning to cook given minimal literacy skills, difficulty in multi-step processing, and issues with 
cognitive functioning. The presentation will briefly explain how Active Engagement bypasses this problem through use of a pictorial cueing system in lieu of conventional recipes.

A Registered Dietitian and experienced IDD practitioner, Ms. Goldschmidt has spent the last decade working with individuals with disabilities on the development of cooking skills as a form of nutritional intervention. It is anticipated that this training webinar will provide pragmatic and direct assistance to parents, caregivers, support staff, educators, and practitioners who work with this population on development of any type of functional life skill.  At the close of the presentation, the author will take questions and offer suggestions in response to specific issues that participants raise.