My advice

Find a system of techniques and tools that works for you, looks ok, and is easy and convenient.

My experience

I thread a fork or a spoon through the fingers of my left hand. This works well for food that is suitable to eat with a fork and/or spoon. By which I mean food that does not need to be cut with a knife on the plate.

I don’t use the traditional palmer band, or any of the other numerous options out there. The options include all sorts of cutlery with various handles and all sorts of bands into which you can put cutlery. You can see many of these in the link to the Independent Living Centre in the expert section below. For me, I don’t think they work as well as my approach, and I find them ugly and inconvenient. However, if they work for you that is all that matters.

My way of coping without the ability to use a knife is mainly through ordering food, or making food, that does not need to be cut with a knife on the plate. Sometimes I do have to eat such food, and in those cases I find that people are happy to cut it for me if I ask them. However, being a somewhat dysfunctional independence nazi, I still feel awkward about it so I don’t ask people I don’t know well.

Most glasses and mugs are ok for quads although there are some issues. Hot drinks are a problem and carrying full glasses or mugs is a problem.

At home I have solved the hot drink problem by using insulated mugs. For many years I used really ugly plastic ones because that was all I knew about. However, now there are quite nice metallic looking ones and even ones that look like glass, which are much nicer than the old plastic ones. They are available in most homewares stores.

These drink problems are more awkward when I am out in bars and cafes. The hot drink problem I deal with mainly by only having coffee at cafes where I can sit at a table and therefore use two hands to pick up my hot drink. If I can’t sit at a table I get my coffee in a takeaway cup with a lid. This means it is both better insulated and less likely to spill. In bars I also mainly solve the problem by sitting at tables and asking the staff to carry my drinks over. If I’m at a bar where I can’t sit at a table for some reason, I order my beer in a bottle so it is easier to pick up and carry without spilling.


how i hold a fork or spoon


insulated mug and glass, and one of the takeaway coffees common in my part of sydney

images images images

if you are not at a table buy bottled beer

imagesbeer bottles

Here’s what the experts say

CLICK HERE for a big list of eating and drinking gadgets from the NSW Independent Living Centre

Rule number 9 – Find a routine that allows you to enjoy eating


One comment on “I. EATING and DRINKING

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