Adolescence and emerging adulthood are critical periods for young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is a lack of appropriate and affordable services available.
The Il Tortellante® is an Italian project aimed at promoting adaptive behavior and social skills, and at reducing the severity of symptomatology through a culinary group intervention in which young people with ASD learn to make fresh pasta by hand.
A longitudinal study was conducted.
Before and after the intervention, 20 participants were assessed based on the severity of symptoms, social skills, and adaptive behaviors.
According to our findings, severity of symptoms and daily living skills improved significantly.
A culinary intervention may be useful for adolescents and young adults with ASD to improve daily living skills and reduce ASD-related symptomatology.
Services and associations may consider developing a culinary laboratory for people with ASD to improve group intervention proposals for adolescents and emerging adults. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS?: This paper offers one of the first investigations of the impact of a culinary laboratory on ASD symptoms, social skills, and adaptive behavior in adolescents and young adults diagnosed with ASD. This group intervention could contribute to expand the range of interventions targeted at adolescents and young adults with ASD, to reduce the severity of symptoms, and to promote adaptive behaviors.

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