Feel Good Friday: Alex’s Special Eats
Feel Good Friday
ALEX’S SPECIAL EATS
Alex, our son, was diagnosed with autism 18 years ago. He is currently in a postsecondary autistic vocational program. Like his peers, he is now a 20-year-old adult facing a world of limited work options. Alex and many of his friends find great pleasure in focusing on food. As he has grown up, and through his vocational program, he has learned about recipes, food preparation and most recently, serving food. Food vending seems to bring together all of these skills and interests.
After looking as Alex’s skills and interests and finding the equipment, we reached out to friends and family to determine whether there would be interest and support for a food cart. When we received a groundswell of goodwill and excitement, that was our “feel good” moment that we had found an outlet for Alex and his friends not only to feel like part of something but also be gainfully employed. We decided to focus not only on an autistic work force but also on an excellent product. We had a “hotdog trial” to determine the best hotdog, bun and condiments. That was a fun and very filling day.
Alex’s Special Eats was born out of a belief that the food vending industry was an avenue well suited to the strengths and interests of the autistic community. Blending the common interest in food and well as the attention to detail, we felt that with appropriate scripting and training, this avenue would allow for increased social interaction, learning skills such as food preparation, serving food, managing money as well as clean up and equipment maintenance. By achieving these skillsets, autistic individuals can be gainfully employed or more importantly, be the master (and owner) of their own destiny. Moving forward, we are excited to put together a step by step training program using schedules, social stories and visual cues in order for these young adults to achieve independence.
Individuals with autism have the right to be gainfully employed. People on the ASD spectrum have the special abilities naturally, that blend well with the food vending industry. With assistance and scripting, they have the ability to master the demands of food preparation, serving, money management and equipment maintenance, thus achieving gainful employment.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Alex’s Special Eats provides the autistic community with a framework of skills in the food service trade. This leads to confidence, greater social interaction, and mastery of skills as these individuals move forward in the food vending industry.
Alex’s Special Eats launched April 15, 2017 at the DJ Los Hooping 4 Autism event. The website is www.alexsspecialeats.com. The Facebook page is Alex’s-Special-Eats. Events can be booked by Email at AlexsSpecialEats@gmail.com or calling (248) 568-6215.