Sienna has been working really hard on navigating through various social protocols and expectations by working with us at home and with a Life Skills Coach. Sienna has begun to feel more comfortable about embracing her teen years and feeling more prepared for adulthood. One of the goals Sienna set for herself was to cook dinner for her family.
Cooking has been something Sienna has always had a desire to do. Perhaps it’s because cooking is something “big people” do. She had seen her twin cook a variety of things and wanted to do the same. However, she was limited in the kitchen because of both learning and physical limitations that accompany her Dwarfism and Dandy Walker diagnoses.
We sat down and figured out a plan. We knew there had to be ways that she could safely and independently cook real meals.
During our conversations about it, Sienna came to the realization that while there were cooking videos for kids, there weren’t any for special needs chefs. She knew it was up to her to change that.
So, she started doing cooking videos and “The Short-Order Chef” was created. (Yes, it’s a play on the words with regards to Sienna being a Primordial Dwarf.)
Each week, she posts a video showing the viewers how to cook something new. She’s done recipes such as “Not-So-Sloppy Sloppy Joes” and “Hash Brown Waffle Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches”. And since her twin is allergic to dairy, she even has some dairy-free and vegan recipes.
She has gotten such great feedback from parents and kids such as adults saying they’ve learned something new, and special needs kids saying she made them feel less alone and more empowered to give cooking a whirl! I’ve been able to see Sienna grow even more into a young lady and have seen her feel so independent and proud of herself.
Sienna even aims to entertain during her clips by dancing while the food cooks or teaching sign language that goes along with a song.
This Friday, August 29, she has the privilege of cooking live on Great Day Houston! She’ll be demonstrating a brand new dairy-free recipe. I hope you’ll tune in!
Here are two of her latest videos:
Texas Spring Rolls
Not-So-Sloppy Sloppy Joe Cups