Sunday, April 28, 2013

Your Mission: GFCF Pizza That Hayden Will Eat

"If you know one person with Autism... 
You know one person with Autism."

Meaning, not all Autistics have the same characteristics.  One thing that is very common, however, is a desire for sameness. Certain things in their daily lives must be absolutely the same, every time. 

For Hayden, he has become more able to adapt to change and to things in his daily life not always being the same.  
His pizza is not one of these things.

I've posted about his pizza before. But it seems that no one who cares for him can get it just right, so that he'll eat it, despite all their best efforts, and probably even going above and beyond to try to help. I feel bad that they want to help but don't know how. Therefore, here is an update for friends and family on how Hayden prefers his pizza to be made. 

This post can also serve as an informational view into the mind of a person with Autism, and how the slightest change in something can ruin their day. Depending on how verbal the person is, they may be unable to express exactly at what point you went wrong. The only way to know is through trial and error, or if someone who has already figured this out tells you. 

Below I've labeled with an asterisk (*) each point at which you could go wrong in this recipe, undoing the entire thing without knowing. If you made one of these mistakes in your mission, the only response you'll get from him is, "I don't like it." or  "It's yucky." Not very helpful in trouble-shooting.

And so, I present, Hayden's GFCF Pizza How-To.

Take 2 slices of Tapioca or Rice bread and put Prego Tomato Basil sauce on. *Off-brands are sometimes acceptable but not always. *This is how much sauce he likes. *Go all the way to the edges with the sauce or he won't eat the edge pieces.

Pour some *Daiya mozzerella cheese shreds in the middle of the pizza. *This is about how much you need. Not too much, not too little.

Use your finger to spread the cheese from the middle out, so that all areas are well covered.

Put the pizza in microwave for 25 seconds. *Do you see how the cheese didn't melt much?  This is how he likes it. If the cheese looks gooey like real melted cheese he won't eat it. This is probably the most common area for failure in this mission.

Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut into *squares. I usually turn the square into a *four by four grid, though you can get away with three by four.

Finished product.  Other helpful hints for your mission: 

Don't let the squares get upside-down or stuck to each other.
Don't cook it so it's too hot. If so, cool in the freezer for 30 seconds. He likes it room temp.
Don't mention that you're not sure if you've done it right. Then he'll inspect it more closely.
Don't use soy cheese.
Do give him a napkin, or he'll use his shirt. Even if the napkins are right next to him on the table.
Do congratulate yourself for accomplishing your mission. It can be a tricky one!  ; )

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