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Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 03 Jan 2017 Special cakes by a s ...

Special cakes by a special child

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SWATI SHARMA
Published Jan 3, 2017, 12:14 am IST
Updated Jan 3, 2017, 6:51 am IST
Baking his way to people’s hearts, Roshan Jacob is a master in whipping cakes, despite his autism.
Since he took up baking, I see a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in him: Maria, Roshan’s mother.
 Since he took up baking, I see a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in him: Maria, Roshan’s mother.

His cakes are exported to places like Canada, the UK, Bahrain and the US in addition to Mumbai and Kerala in the country. Roshan is just 18 years old and is autistic. He has studied in a special school and communicates using sign language. 

His mother, Marie, helps him take orders. She says, “Right from his childhood, whenever I baked cakes for occasions at home, I had to have Roshan next to me, to keep an eye on him. In December 2013, I was getting all the ingredients ready to make our traditional fruit cake for Christmas. We generally prepare five to six cakes. I had just weighed all the ingredients and noticed Roshan getting the grinder and indicating to me to put the sugar in, in order to powder it. He was also directing me to do the steps involved while baking. I could see the happiness on his face. I shared this news with my husband and we decided to let him lead while baking the second cake. We realised that he knew the steps very well. Next, we asked him to do it himself and with just a few prompts, he was successful. He was enjoying it thoroughly,”

 

The family finally found something he was interested in. They had tried computers, keyboard and many other activities, but could only occupy him for not more than 15 minutes. Since Marie was already into baking, she took out all her old books for traditional cakes and decided to make it a business. “We don’t compromise on the quality of the ingredients. We make it in a traditional manner and don’t use much of artificial colouring. We bake healthy cakes with fresh fruits,  vegetables and nuts,” she adds.

On January 5, 2014, they started Mom’s Cakes and Bakes. Maria’s daughter, Sharon, created a website and a Facebook page for the venture and since then, they have got a lot of support from family, friends and well-wishers. “We have received good feedback and some customers call us up and thank Roshan for the cakes. The days before Christmas and New Year’s are hectic. It has been almost three years since we started, and we can see a positive change in Roshan. We see a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in him,” says Maria.

Roshan is not taken any course in baking and yet, specialises is the Christmas rum cake with dry fruits which is also called rich fruit cake. “We tried various special schools in the city but none could meet our requirements. As handling kids with autism is challenging teachers gave up on him and   I was spending most of my time teaching him at home.” 

He learns English and Maths at home using an iPad.

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