Community Support Services, Inc.

Community Support Services, Inc. is committed to the provision of quality community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities. We provide innovative services to support an individual with their needs in school, work, home and the community. We strive to serve individuals in the environments in which they desire to live, work, recreate, and learn. Our services are flexible and designed in accordance with each individual's self-directed life goals.
Dec 13, 2012

Bring Holiday Cheer Into The Kitchen

Cooking as therapy

There are few things in life that bring such immediate satisfaction as sitting down and enjoying a tasty snack. My goal each day in Cooking Class is to supplement that enjoyment with an understanding of where our food comes from, how it is made, and how knowing what goes into our food can help us to make healthy food choices.

Although the common theme of the classes is learning to prepare healthy food, I maintain the premise that simply being in the kitchen opens infinite opportunities for therapeutic activity: Students apply critical thinking skills to recognize and measure ingredients; basic motor skills are engaged in holding and using kitchen tools; examining the recipe as a group is an opportunity for students to utilize reading skills as well as verbal and social skills. The list of benefits goes on and on and at the end of it all we are left with not only the gratification of having accomplished a series of tasks, we are able to sit down and enjoy the product of our labors as reinforcement for a job well done.

 

Holiday favorites

In my mind, nothing heralds the start of the holiday season quite like the smell of freshly baked gingerbread! Something about the special blend of spicy ginger and clove with hints of fragrant nutmeg and cinnamon just makes us feel comforted and warm.  This recipe produces a loaf of moist, cake-like gingerbread.

This recipe is relatively low in sugar, calling instead for black strap molasses. Unlike refined sugars, molasses contains trace amounts of vitamins and significant amounts of several minerals. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron; one tablespoon provides up to 20 percent of the daily value of each of those nutrients. The fact that this recipes calls for no egg or dairy products also makes it entirely vegan. The addition of it being infinitely simple to make is a great holiday bonus.

 

Gingerbread

Ingredients:      

1 Cup dark molasses

                ½ Cup brown sugar

                ½ cup Canola oil

                ½ teaspoon cinnamon

                ½ teaspoon ground clove

                ½ teaspoon nutmeg

                1 teaspoon ground ginger

                1 Cup boiling water

                2 ½ Cups Flour

                1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, blend together the canola oil, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar and molasses.
  3. Stir in boiling water.
  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Dissolve the Baking Soda in 2 tablespoons of hot water and add to the batter.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased 8x8x2 inch baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

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Nov 12, 2012

Afterschool Program Becomes Focus as Summer Ends

With the summer months now just a memory, CSS wraps up the camp program for children with autism and shifts the focus to the Afterschool Program for Children with Autism.

The program provides a safe and enriching environment for more than 40 children with autism during the school year. The kids participate in recreational and therapeutic activities which continue to help them become more socially functional, learn life skills and most importantly – have fun!

The children participate in music, dance, art, drumming, gymnastics and speech therapies, all tailored to each child’s particular needs. They also engage in leisure activities such as basketball, soccer, video/computer games, puzzles and sensory play. The kids often travel offsite for activities, giving them more opportunities to interact with their community.

In addition to keeping the children learning and active, the afterschool program provides a service to working parents whose children would not be served well in an average after-care environment. 

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Sep 4, 2012

Garden to Table: Crops coming full circle

Individuals at CSS continue to nourish the six garden plots at Wooten Mill Garden Park in Gaithersburg. While many crops are coming to a close for the season, the tomatoes are abundant! Dozens of crates of a variety of tomatoes are brought back to the CSS kitchen. Chef Adam incorporates the fruit, as well as other crops from the garden,  into the weekly Healthy Living cooking classes, using recipes such as fresh tomato and basil soup. The remaining tomatoes are cooked in bulk recipes, such as marina sauce or ketchup, and canned. The resulting product is divided among CSS residential houses for the individuals to use at home while preparing healthy meals.

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