NORWICH – Thanks to a collaboration of parent advocates, young adults who are struggling with autism spectrum disorders are learning to follow recipes and participate in a holiday tradition that unites family, friends and community.
A group of seven young men gathered Nov. 15 to whip up a Thanksgiving meal complete with all of the trimmings. They learned to measure, mix and bake and took turns serving their guests following five months of Chef’s Club classes held at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Norwich.
Dinnertime was “a huge success,” said the club’s co-creator Cindy Comings, with about 25 guests gathering for the feast. Comings and local speech and language teacher Andrea MacIntosh developed the new community venture service-learning program to help young adults with autism spectrum disorders learn a basic independent living skill like cooking foods safely.