American Teen Sets up Alphabet for Autism

Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015

Matty and his mum Most children from English-speaking countries have been taught the alphabet using very similar word association charts for centuries e.g., A is for apple, B is for ball or boat and C is for cat. But when it comes to people diagnosed with autism, what inspires them to learn, and what words they associate with letters, is often completely different and unique.

Chase Bailey, a 13-year-old with autism from Orange County, California, has created an alphabet based around contemporary food. Like most teenagers he loves food, but he has learned many of his life skills through cooking and developing recipes. It was when his mother Mary noticed how animated Chase became when watching TV chefs as a young child, she realized he had a passion for food. Here was something she could leverage to provide a way for her son to better relate to, and understand, the world around him. Now Chase even has his own cooking show on and food remains at the center of his home-school curriculum.

Together with Mary, Chase has created a completely new alphabet association chart, based around some of his favorite foods*. Mary Bailey takes up the story:

“Chase and I thought creating an alphabet around food would be fun and it might help people like Chase. But I soon realized there is no one like Chase – everyone is unique.

So instead we thought we would curate a collection of autism alphabets on our website, or help people develop their own.

Some people might prefer an alphabet centered on cars or animals or flowers, just as examples. If we collect all of these different alphabets, we can provide a unique resource for the autism world.”

Chase and Mary are now asking people from all over the globe to send in their own alphabet or ideas together with their personal stories to

For further information, go to email or Tweet Sara @twowitwowoo

Chase’s Contemporary Food Alphabet


A - Apple Pie

B - Bacon

C - Churros 

D – Doughnuts

E - Eggnog

F - French toast

G - Gingerbread

H - Hamburger 

 I - Ice Tea

J - Jello

K - Kettle Chips 

L - Lemon Chicken

M - Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

N - Nachos

P - Peanut Butter

Q - Quesadilla

R -  Ratatouille

S - Steak              

T - Taco

U – Upside-down Cake

V - Vanilla

W - Waffles

X - Xia (Chinese shrimp dish) 

Y - Yogurt

Z - Zucchini Fries               

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