The cooking group at Northridge Elementary is co-lead by Amy Moore, speech/language pathologist, and Chelsea Berthold, occupational therapist. They started the cooking group to support the development of skills that are sometimes difficult to address through conventional therapy or special education instruction.
While the group of 2nd and 5th graders enjoy making foods such as, apple crumble, pico and eggs, guacamole, and play dough, they are also learning invaluable skills. The instructor’s try to target some of the executive functioning skills, such as determining, executing, and monitoring a plan, as well as social communication and collaboration skills. Moore said, “Cooking seems like a natural fit for supporting executive functioning and since all of our students want to participate, even those reluctant collaborators are highly motivated to communicate.” The students also gain motor skills that are necessary to use kitchen instruments.
The club meets every other week for an hour and is a learning experience for everyone involved. Moore said, “Our students are enthusiastic and awesome and we all have so much fun. It’s the highlight of our week!”