Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part XCIV: It Takes Longer

Copyright © 2016 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.

Alice had another Social Studies assignment related to Central America. This time, they wanted her to send in a recipe for a food from Mexico. Fortunately, many of the typical foods are or can be done gluten-free. The trick here is to pick a recipe that is traditional and simple. I did some pre-investigation and offered  corn tortillas as an option for Alice. She was excited about that so we watched a few YouTube videos on how to do it before settling on one that was appropriate and we worked on transcribing it. It was clear that Alice wasn’t really listening to the woman presenting the recipe because I had to go back over some sections seven or eight times before she listened to and heard the actual instructions to recall them.

After I wrote down the ingredients and instructions, I had Alice type them back in.


Alice is a hunt-peck typist and this process is slow, but in theory it would help her internalize the recipe more. Alice was starting to do more consistent two letter chunking so it didn’t take too long.

Then we got to work making the dough for tortillas.


Alice enjoyed the tactile sensation of the dough, but I had to finish it up to get it to hang together.


We made a test tortilla and it came out very well. I’ll cook the rest before school on Thursday when they have to go in for a fiesta.

Mental note: making corn tortillas from scratch is super easy.

Alice’s recipe:

Corn Tortillas

1 cup masa flour

1- 1 ½ cup water

pinch salt

put flour in bowl.

Add salt and mix.

Add 1cup water and a

little bit more.

Knead the dough until

all the lumps are gone.

Let rest for 20 minutes.

Make into 8or 9 balls.

Press flat.

Cook 1-2 minutes per side.


It takes longer to this kind of work, hopefully it’s worth it. One never knows in the moment.

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