Chef Tad

One of the autistic quirks that Tad possesses in full is scripting.  Scripting is where the person in question memorizes a book, a TV show, or a movie, and then uses that “script” to talk, adapt, or role play.  In Tad’s case, he does all three.  And it is completely compulsive.  As annoying as it can sometimes be, the script has to be followed.  You cannot deviate from the script without a major trauma occurring.  And often… that fight’s just not worth having.

Fortunately, I have a good memory and can keep up with Tad’s obsessions with Dr. Seuss, Star Wars, Little Critter, Pixar films and shorts, shark documentaries and PBS kids’ shows, so most of the time I know what script he is working from.  And the funny part is, Tad has to follow his own rules about scripts.  If we can’t deviate from a script… neither can he.

This works to my advantage, say, at meals when I want him to try something that he is refusing to eat.

“You do not like them, so you say.  Try them, try them, and you may!  Try them and you may, I say!”

And Tad is stuck.  He has to follow the script.  Those are the rules he’s made.

I have gotten him to eat SO many new foods this way.  If Dr. Seuss were still alive, I’d bake him cookies, clean his house, and do his laundry.

But there’s another trick to getting Tad to eat.

Welcome to Cooking with Chef Tad!

The cooking show concept is taken directly from Word World.  One of the main characters, Pig, shoots a cooking show from his barn (where he is referred to as “Chef Pig”), and one of his song numbers is “The Perfect Pizza,” where they list off several foods that begin with the letter P.

I was trying to get Tad interested in helping with dinner, so I brought out his Star Wars apron (his Christmas gift from Auntie Ressis and Uncle Oddball), and had him stir the noodles.  Dinner was fettuccine alfredo from a box, with chicken added, and if I was lucky, a veggie.

As Tad began to sing the song, I had a brainstorm.

“Stir the pasta, Tad!  Stir the pasta in the pot!”

“Now I will add the… poultry!!!”

“And now… PEAS!!!”

Dinner was a smashing hit.

Tad was thrilled to have a “P” dinner, and he ate two helpings (even though he did leave some poultry and peas behind… he is really truly a carb kid).  There were no complaints whatsoever about having to eat dinner.

The perfect pizza might start with P, but the perfect dinner starts with P, too.

And judging from this success, I might have to call on Chef Tad’s services more often.  Even if it does take a little more time to make dinner, it’s worth it just to get the boy to eat.

2 Responses to “Chef Tad”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    May 24th, 2011 07:33

    He is such an interesting kid! What an adventure having him in your family. Except that you have him figured out and get really tricky!
    See you soon!

  2. Ressis
    May 24th, 2011 14:47

    I wish I could get Cowgirl to try something new. Maybe I should call on her favorite book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. . .