In many ways, Chase Bailey is a regular 13-year-old boy from California. But he is different and exceptional because he was diagnosed with autism as a toddler.
Even before he started preschool, his mother Mary worked with physicians, therapists and educators to ensure that Chase would receive the kind of specialist therapy he needed to develop the coping skills to allow him to live life to the full. However, when it came down to his education, it was evident that traditional methods of teaching were not effective in making information and concepts understandable and meaningful to Chase.
Using Chase’s own dreams and aspirations as her guide, Mary decided to leave her corporate position in management and embark on a journey she never could have imagined. This includes home schooling Chase and creating a life curriculum, designed specifically for him – a hands-on approach to learning through experiences that resonate with Chase.
Academic goals are intricately and inextricably woven into Chase’s everyday life, and are executed in ways tailored to reflect Chase and the way he’s wired and experiences the world. The goals are designed to go beyond academic life, extending into the realms of self-sufficiency, personal fulfillment, developing positive relationships with other people and philanthropy.
Chase has been hosting his own YouTube cooking channel for nearly two years – www.chasenyurface.com . The team at GE were so impressed that, along with five other families across the US, he was chosen for their latest series of films entitled Our American Kitchen
Chase’s story has proven popular on YouTube, attracting over 150,000 views so far. In addition, a 30-second version can now be seen on Food Network, DIY, HGTV, and the Cooking Channel.
The film tells the story of Chase’s love affair with food and how his mom, Mary Bailey, found cooking the perfect way to help her son. Not only do the skills required for ‘cheffing’ help Chase with his fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, his passion for food means that the kitchen can be used as a classroom.
Chase’s popularity is not restricted to the US. He has recently returned from a foodie trip to the UK where he was asked to cook at the British Asparagus Festival held annually on Saint George’s Day.
This article was featured in Issue 40 – Conquering Stress