Halloween- Costumes, Pumpkins, Apps and Seeds

While many kids run around in costume during this always exciting holiday without a problem. Some of our kiddos need a little help and support to make this an enjoyable day for them as well.

In this episode of Autism TodayTV Lois and America talk about costumes and what to look for and more importantly what to avoid. Halloween wouldn’t be complete without some pumpkin fun; America and Lois demonstrate some no carving pumpkin fun everyone can do. Our beloved chef, Tom Dickinson is in the studio and will be giving us some tasty pumpkin seed recipes. Also, Lois sits and chats with Dr. Temple Grandin, from holidays to the disability mentality. Lastly, Lois explores some Halloween apps to complement this Halloween day.

Happy Halloween Everyone from Autism TodayTV

Autism TodayTV Highlights “GFCF Chef Tom Dickinson”

Individuals on the autism spectrum have shown minimum to dramatic improvements in communication, behavior and social interactions after they began gluten free casein free (GFCF) diet. The GFCF diet is based on the theory that individuals on the spectrum have sensitivity or allergy to gluten or caseins which form peptides. These peptides can then alter how an individual responds to their environment and exacerbate autistic symptoms.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, grains, vegetable proteins, starches and other flavorings & artificial colors. Casein is the protein found in milk and milk products such as cheese, ice cream and butter.

Some research studies have suggested that a GFCF diet can improve behavior and GI symptoms in some children on the autism spectrum. A recent study in 2010 published in Nutritional Neuroscience shows that a GFCF does have benefits for some kids with autism. “Our results suggest that dietary intervention may positively affect developmental outcome for some children diagnosed with ASD,” according to the study.

Changing a child’s eating habits can seem like a lot of work not to mention the added expense of “specialized food.” Fortunately we have Chef Tom Dickinson who is determined to make the GFCF diet affordable and accessible to all individuals on the spectrum. Chef Tom aims to redefine the public’s perception of a gluten and casein free diet from boring and bland to a cuisine that he calls GFCF-Fusion.

See chef Tom create wonderful meals for your family that are affordable in a minimal amount of time on Autism TodayTV. Chef Tom also has two cookbooks available “Where There’s A Meal, There’s A Way” & “Cooking With Class” with a third on the way “Affordable Eats.”

GFCF Salami and Basil Pizza

Chef Tom Dickinson on Autism Today TV

Here is a recipe from one of Chef Tom’s cookbooks. It was featured on Episode 2 of Autism TodayTV. Everything you need to make this wonderful pizza is listed here, and if you’d like, you can watch Chef Tom make it first and then give it a try yourself. I have personally tasted the pizza, the sauce is just fabulous. It’s a great tasting fast dish everyone will love.

“My firm belief is that every child on the Autism spectrum should not have to be deprived of the simple pleasures in life like being able to have a slice of pizza like any normal kid, so what I did is created this wonderful recipe and the key to this pizza isn’t the toppings or the sauce, but the technique and the use of a cast iron pizza pan to make this pizza from good, to awesome. Hope you enjoy.” -chef Tom

For The Sauce

  • 3 Roma or San Marzano tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of sundried tomatoes
  • Half of a red onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • One tablespoon of agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For The Crust

  • 2 cups of pre mixed gluten free all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon of guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tablespoon of aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of water

For The Toppings

  • 1 package of daiya mozzarella cheese
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1 package of Applegate farms uncured salami
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Using some oil that is safe for your child and your own preference, drizzle some oil onto your cast iron pizza pan and place in the oven to get it nice and hot.
  2. For the sauce, place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree on high speed. The sauce should be a little bit chunky, but that’s okay.
  3. For the pizza dough, place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together so everything is incorporated. Add the one cup of water and begin to mix together with a rubber spatula. IF the dough is too dry, add water to it one tablespoon at a time. Mix well until the dough is moist but not sticky.
  4. One a floured cutting board, floured with gf flour of course, roll out your pizza dough with a rolling pin to desired shape and width. Now it’s time for toppings.
  5. Place the sauce on your pizza, followed by half the daiya cheese, then the salami, and the rest of the cheese on top.
  6. Take your basil leaves, stack them on top of each other, and then roll them into a roll. Using your knife, cut the basil into fine ribbons, this is called chiffonading the basil, a classic cutting technique.
  7. Place the ribbons of basil on top of your pizza and slide the pizza of the cutting board onto your cast iron pizza pan. Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and the crust is fully cooked. About twenty minutes.

Makes 4-5 servings
*See Chef Tom Create Delicious, Mouthwatering and Affordable Dishes on each Episode of Autism TodayTV

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Autism TodayTV Wins an Ursula Award

The Ursula Awards, this was the first annual film festival, a showcase for independent filmmakers and community access television producers hosted by Vallejo Community Access Television, VCAT. It presents an engaging and entertaining mix of filmmaking styles and talents from around the world, while offering an opportunity for local producers to showcase the diverse mix of community access productions.

Autism TodayTV was nominated as a finalist in the community service and education category by a group of judges. To know that our show was in fact reaching many families and making a difference in the community, gave us a great sense of gratification.

Director Gary B. Producer Lois Brady & Producer America Gonzalez at the Ursula Awards Ceremony 2012

To win the Ursula in recognition for excellence in community service and education made all the hard work and hours of trial and error well worth it. We are super excited about Autism Today TV and the support from the community both local and global.

It is our sincerest hope that we have educated, supported and entertained you, and we look forward to many more wonderful, exciting episodes to come.

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Introducing “Autism TodayTV”

Autism Today TV is a public service show dedicated to the 1.5 million families struggling to cope with the overwhelming effects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) live better, happier lives; By providing up-to-date information on available resources, technology, products and research mixed with practical solutions for families and educators we sincerely hope to help individuals on the spectrum reach their full potential.

Information will be presented in a variety of formats including interviews, hands on demonstrations (in studio and on location), computer generated demonstrations and coverage of local events such as autism walks or autism friendly movies/productions/concerts.

Autism TodayTV hosts
Lois Brady, America Gonzalez and Thomas Todd

Co-hosts Lois Brady, America Gonzalez and Thomas Todd are a group of highly trained professionals, authors, developers and hands on educators that have been working with individuals on the spectrum for over four decades combined. Our goal in to inform, support and entertain our viewers as well as answer questions and interpret all the latest research regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder.

We are very proud of our first episode which includes performing arts, iPad apps, safety tips and a delicious gluten free-casein free recipe from Chef Tom Dickinson. You can see all the episodes here

Please send in questions, comments, ideas and your stories for inclusion on Autism TodayTV by either leaving a comment at the bottom or filling out our contact form

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