How Cooking Helped 14-Year-Old Boy With Autism Overcome His Challenges
Chef, YouTube star, activist, and now an author – 14-year-old Chase Bailey doesn’t let autism hold him back.
The teen from Irvine, California, releases his first cookbook Thursday, and in doing so, hopes to inspire others on the spectrum to “focus on what they can do, instead of what they can’t,” he told InsideEdition.com.
Chase’s journey began after he first saw “Eat St.” on the Cooking Channel.
“I started to tell my mom, ‘I want to be a chef. I want to open my own restaurant. I want to have my own blog. I want to have my own cooking show,’” he said. “And my mom said, ‘you know what, why don’t we do that now?’”
His YouTube cooking show, Chase ‘N Yur Face, now has a whopping 17,000 subscribers. He’s cooked alongside a variety of celebrity chefs who have taught him various tips and tricks in the kitchen. He’s been endorsed by Guy Fieri and even appeared on The Chew.
Hosting a cooking show has helped him overcome challenges autism has dealt him, like aversion to tastes, he said.
“A lot of people [with autism] struggle with their fine motor skills and hand strength, and they also have trouble with their speech sometimes,” he said. “When I do my cooking show I practice speaking to the camera, helping me to speak ‘properly.’ I use special tools on my show sometimes, helping me with my fine motor skills.”
Chase’s first cookbook, The Official Chase ‘N Yur Face Cookbook, is available November 10. It’s filled with recipes he’s devised, as well as family favorites.
“Some are family recipes that have come down through generations and generations, like my Grandma Karen’s gingerbread,” he said.
Proceeds from the cookbook, which also features fun food facts, will go to the Chase Yur Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Chase to assist people with autism by providing grants for job training and education.
“I saw a lot of people helping me with autism and I turned out to live independently like them, and that’s when I felt like I wanted to help people with autism to live independently as possible,” he said.
His mom, Mary, said she was wanted to help Chase grow by encouraging his talent in the kitchen.
“We spend a lot of time with autism focusing on the disability as opposed to the ability,” she told InsideEdition.com. “I really think that we need to hone in on that and help these kids and adults find what their strengths are and utilize them. That’s what I want for Chase, and I think that’s what every parent wants for their child with autism or any ‘disability.’”
Despite the success he’s already achieved, Chase continues to dream big. He plans on going to college to study filmmaking and acting, and hopes to own restaurants of his own one day.