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Posts filed under: Life Skills Blog

Gluten Free Columbia

Many young adults with autism are on gluten free diets. It is less expensive to eat out, but sometimes its fun to do so. Here is list of restaurants in Columbia, Missouri with good gluten free options, at a reasonable price.

  1. West Main: This restaurant is a made to order fast pizza and salad place. They have a gluten free pizza crust option, it is $9 like the rest of their pizzas and unlimited toppings. In addition, there is a salad option. This place is not good for people with severe gluten allergies however, as there is a significant risk of cross-contamination. Address: 923 E Broadway, Columbia


  1. Range Free: An allergen free bakery and restaurant. The place has a wide variety of gluten free desserts and dishes. Address: 110 Orr St #101


  1. Nourish Café+Market: This is a relatively new restaurant in Columbia. It is mostly a health food restaurant and it has a good deal of gluten free options. Address: 1201 E Broadway, Columbia


  1. Bangkok Gardens: A local Thai place. Serves mostly meat and vegetable stir-fry with varying levels of spice. Address: 811 Cherry St, Columbia


  1. Ingredient: A local café that serves a variety of different foods. Address: 304 S 9th St, Columbia


  1. Seoul Taco: A local Korean taco place that also serves a variety of Korean fusion food. Shares a building Strange Donuts, which occasionally offers gluten free donuts. Address: 1020 E Broadway

Healthy Eating for Selective Eaters

Many young adults with autism have sensory difficulties when it comes to food. This can make healthy eating a lot more difficult. Here are some ways to work around sensory difficult eating.

  1. Include vegetables in smoothies: For people with sensory issues, smoothies can be a lifesaver. There are several vegetables that can be added without affecting the taste. Smoothies are a quick and relatively easy way to get in nutrition.


  1. Try many different methods of preparations for fruits and vegetables: Sometimes different methods of preparation can offset sensory issues. Some people can eat raw, but not cooked vegetables. Some only like steamed. Different preparation methods can make fruits and vegetables palatable, if not enjoyable to eat.


  1. Try juicing: Sometimes fruits and vegetables are easier to consume in juice form. Purchasing a juicer and finding recipes online for tasty juices made with both fruits and vegetables can be a good use of time and a good way to.


  1. Try “sneaky” ways of getting fruits and vegetables: There are a good deal of recipes that work by putting healthy foods in other foods that are traditionally less so. The two most well-known cookbooks for sneaking fruit and vegetables in food are The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious. There are also many recipes online that cover sneaky vegetable intake. Food stores also sell vegetable versions of many popular snacks, such as veggie chips and fruit desserts.


  1. Vitamins: If all of these methods do not work there is another way to get necessary nutrients. Vitamins and supplements are sold in many place. Do research on what supplements are right for you and your body type. Find the best way for you to take them, be it swallowing, chewing, or gummy supplements. There are a wide variety of supplements to choose from.

Roomate Tips

Rooming with another person is hard. There are often differences is what roommates consider acceptable behavior. However, it is often necessary to be able to afford housing. Here are some tips to get along with roommates.

  1. Find someone that you are compatible with: Interview potential roommates. Know what kind of people they are. Do not room with someone who is irritating, a neat freak probably should not room with someone who is messy.


  1. Communicate expectations at the beginning: A sure way to make a roommate experience miserable is to not communicate what is expected from them. Make sure both parties know what their jobs or duties as roommates are.


  1. Respectfully speak up whenever there is an issue: Many times, people do not know that something that they are doing is troubling someone else. Is a roommate playing music too loud? Knock on their door or text them to tell them so. Most people do not want to make their roommate’s lives harder and will take words to heart and change their behavior as long as asked to do so politely.


  1. Do your share of the chores: Part of a good roommate relationship is spitting up shared household chores in a way that is fair. Make sure that a relatively even spit of household choirs is distributed.


  1. Clean up after yourself: After cooking in the kitchen and making a mess, it is important to clean up so roommates can use it afterwards. Leaving behind messes leads to resentment and resentment makes for a bad roommate experience.


  1. Pay your bills on time: A good way to build resentment is frequently having your roommate have to cover for you. By paying your part of the bills on time, you can maintain a positive relationship with your roommates.

Finding Employment

Finding employment is often difficult for young adults. This is especially true for autistic young adults. However, there are ways to improve ability to find employment.

  1. Create an outstanding resume: A resume is often the first impression employers get of potential employees. So it is important to create a great one. In Columbia, there are several places to go to get resume assistance. For college students, most colleges offer free resume help and career services. The Missouri Career Center on Vandiver also offers resume help.


  1. Use correct spelling and grammar on all materials: Bad spelling and grammar makes a horrible impression on potential employers. Resumes, cover, letters, and portfolios need to have good smelling and grammar to make a positive relationship.


  1. Put together a portfolio: Portfolios are not really used as much as they used to be. However, it is good to have a collection of work samples in case an employer wants them.


  1. Look into government employment options: Many states have programs that provide employment for young adults. These measures are usually temporary jobs, however if an employee performs well enough and the employers have the resources, it is possible to be hired on permanently. Even if a temporary job does not lead to permanent employment, it still provides experiences and references that make obtaining a job easier. In addition, these resources of link to job posting and help find non-subsidized employment. Examples of these programs include vocational rehabilitation (for disabled and felons) and the WIOA Program (for economically disadvantaged and disabled).


  1. For interviews, dress one position above the position that you are interviewing for: Choosing the correct outfit for an interview and position makes a positive impression on potential employers.


  1. Find someone to perform mock interviews with: Practice improves interviewing skill. In addition, mock interviews can provided valuable feedback on areas that need improvement.

Romantic Relationship Tips

Romantic relationships difficult even for neurotypical people. However often autistic people have specific troubles when it comes to romance. Here are some tips to make romance easier.

  1. Do not try to hide weaknesses and shortcomings from your partner: Everyone has weaknesses shortcomings. Understanding and knowing weaknesses on both sides can help improve communication. A healthy partner tries to work around weaknesses and communicate based on their partners best communication.


  1. Be open about relationship expectations and wishes: Unspoken expectations ruin relationships. Communicate what you want from a relationship with your partner.


  1. Know what is negotiable and what is deal breaker: There is no such thing as a perfect partner. In all relationships, there will have to be compromises. But there comes a point where issues make a romantic relationship unworkable. It is important to know what is important to you in a relationship and what is small potatoes.


  1. Trust your partner and make sure they trust you: Trust is important in a relationship. Unless your partner has given a reason to distrust them, trust is the best policy. Along with that, act like a trustworthy person with your partner. Be truthful, faithful, and transparent. If you act trustworthy, expect trust from you partner in return


  1. Do not do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable: Being in a relationship does not mean that you have to do whatever your partner wants. If someone really loves you, they will respect your boundaries and limits. It is also important to respect your partner’s boundaries and limits in return.