Cooking Aid Helps Adults with Autism Become More Independent

When we look at a recipe to cook a meal, most of the other directions come naturally to us: wash your hands before you start, where to find the ingredients in the kitchen, etc. However, for people with autism, there is a gap in the exchange of this information, and following directions to make a meal can become difficult and frustrating.

As her thesis project at Syracuse University, Amanda Savitsky decided to explore ways to help people with autism, mainly adults, become more independent. As a sibling of someone with autism, she was aware of the challenges that can arise, and wanted to produce something that could help. The solution was the Match Cooking Prep System, which provides practical tools to help someone with autism learn to cook, thus making them more independent. The system consists of prep bowls, measuring cups, and an Ipad app.

Many people follow the “Mies En Place” cooking system, which involves setting all of the ingredients in place before you start cooking. The Match Cooking Prep System was inspired by this, and provides a structure and system for the person to follow. Each measuring bowl is numbered and filled following the recipe, and the cups each have their own color and shape. As an added bonus, the bottom of each measuring cup has a magnet to provide a tactile positive reinforcement when it is put back in the correct spot. The system also follows the principles of TEACCH (Teaching, Expanding, Appreciating, Collaborating, Cooperating, Holistic) developed at University of North Carolina, designing the layout linearly from left to right.

The last step of the Match Cooking Prep System is an Ipad app that is being developed to break down each step of the recipe into gather, measure, combine, and prep, and then turned into a visual slide show. “Eventually the goal is to master each step and thus master the entire task,” [i] states Amanda Savitsky. The Match Cooking Prep System will enable people with autism to cook meals for themselves, becoming more independent.

[i] “The Autism News” Match Cooking Prep System offers independence to adults with autism. 23 June 2013. Web. <>

This entry was posted in Autism Advocacy, Autism America, Autism Awareness, Autism Books, Autism Causes, Autism Education, Autism in the Family, Autism Resources, Autism Symptoms, Autism Therapy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted June 26, 2016 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    If my problem was a Death Star, this article is a photon toodepr.

  2. Posted July 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I have seen lots of anti-global warming videos (either by or supporting leading authorities in this area (even people high up in greenpeace dont support human-caused global warming)) and if you go back millions of years we are actually a lot colder than the earth has been, the temperature tends to go Warm, then Ice Age, than warm then ice age (note these changes happen over many years). Al Gore is just trying to get votes by pretending to care.

  3. Posted July 15, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    That’s a smart way of thinking about it.

  4. Posted February 28, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m impressed! You’ve managed the almost impossible.

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