How Do You Handle Holiday Stress?

Although the holidays are such a joyful time of the year, moments of stress are often inevitable. At SEEDs for Autism, we help our students develop coping skills which empower them to better handle stressful situations. We asked SEEDs participants if there are any parts of the holiday season that they find hard or difficult. If so, how do they handle them?

BRIANNA
For me, the part of the holiday season that is difficult is to find the right gift for someone in my family. I handle it by going early in the month, and that gives me plenty of time to do some thinking. I ask them what do they want and write it down!

MATTHEW
It’s always hard trying to live up to other people’s expectations and find a present that they’d really enjoy. Sometimes you just don’t want to hand over too much money. So I try and find something that would be related to what they need or are interested in, and can be bought at an affordable price. Something that would actually show some appreciation towards them.

JAKE
The hardest part of the holiday season is the anticipation of the gift giving and receiving. I get really anxious toward getting the right gifts for people. I also get anxious about the types of gifts people might give me. To deal with this I ask my parents to not put my presents under the tree until after Christmas Eve.

 

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What Are You Thankful For?

“I am thankful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Thanksgiving is a time where we share a meal together and celebrate our families, friends and the people we care about. In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked SEEDs participants to reflect on their lives and share their thoughts on what they are thankful for. 

MATTHEW
I’m pretty much thankful for the life I even have to begin with, having the family I was born in, and the world that I live in. Sure with all its ups, there’s also downs, but that’s just a part of everything. It’s what everyone goes through. Everyone is different, so not everything will be the same for them. Maybe they won’t even be born in the same reality. Over time, people will realize that there’s always gonna be some hardships they have to go through, but sometimes the point is to actually go through them and maybe come out somewhere on top. It’s all part of learning and knowing what to do when the time comes. We all just need to be thankful about what we have while we have them.

ANNA
I am thankful for my counselor and psychiatrist because they have in their own ways helped me feel better and lessen my OCD thoughts. My counselor has talked with me about my OCD and how I can stop it from affecting me. My psychiatrist has prescribed medicine that has lowered my compulsive OCD thoughts.

I am thankful for the internet because with its access I can find things I never knew about that I will enjoy. The internet can answer questions I have without paying money for a book that will answer my question or going to the library and looking for a book they may not have that could answer a lot of questions I have.

JESSE
I am thankful for my friends & family because without them life would be really boring.

RYAN D.
I am thankful for my family and my girlfriend and my friends.

BRIAN T.
I am thankful for Hot Wheels and I really like them because they are my favorite cars.

BRIANNA
I’m thankful for my family because they’re sweet, helpful and very kind! I’m thankful for SEEDs because it is a really fun place to learn, and also the instructors are really friendly and supportive!

JAKE
I am thankful for Seeds because I have friends.

Wombat

Wombat

By Chris M.

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This little furry critter is called a Wombat. It’s an adorably short-legged quadrupedal, or four-legged, mammal that is native to Australia.

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Australia is the only continent that’s home to the Wombat.

 

These little vombatidae members belong to a family of Australian animals called Marsupials, like the Kangaroo and the Koala.Image result for wombat
If you think a Wombat is too stubby to move around quickly, then you haven’t seen them running away from you. Their speed can reach maximum when threatened. But if they can’t escape, they can curl up into a furry ball. What is fascinating is that wombats have  super solid behinds that protect them from predators, like Dingos.

Image result for wombatUnfortunately, not even a protective behind can save a wombat from getting hit by a car. Many wombats get killed when crossing busy roads, with lots of cars going from left to right. In fact, more wombats are killed by cars along with any other animal unfortunate enough to cross a busy road.

Image result for wombatBut there will be hope. Many conservationists in Australia are rescuing wombat babies that could’ve died inside their dead mums’ pouches. Then they get released back into the wild when they’re old enough.

Image result for wombatI do volunteer work at the AZ Humane Society where we rescue many pets and care for them until they are ready for adoptions. So I feel relieved that there are many people out there who care for these animals.

Emotion Poetry at SEEDs for Autism

Writing poetry encourages creativity and self-expression. Poetry stirs the imagination and it is an excellent practice for strengthening writings skills, cultivating a strong vocabulary and learning to think outside the box. In this post, the participants at SEEDs for Autism use poetry to describe emotions through the window of their senses. 

Aloha Day at Seeds for Autism

SEEDs for Autism is happy to provide organized recreational activities to empower those on the autism spectrum to explore their creativity, share new experiences, connect with others and GROW! At ALOHA DAYS, friends and family came together as a community to celebrate summer, learn about Hawaiian culture and have FUN! We asked some of our participants to share their experiences from this joyful and educational event.

CHRIS M
I went to Aloha Days at SEEDS with my parents. I spent my morning time playing “Topple” with Jeffery. I enjoyed playing, even though I was new to the game. Then my Mom convinced me to take part in one of the hula dances. I did try out the dance moves to make her proud. Then we got ready for Aloha Day lunch, which included teriyaki chicken, steamed rice, and fruit donuts. Overall, I had a nice time.

SONJA
Saturday the 11th of August I went to an event at Seeds for Autism called Aloha Days where we got to learn about the Hawaiian culture and dance the hula. My favorite part was doing the hula dancing. I loved how each dance tells a story about life and love. I got to eat a delicious pineapple donut and rice topped with chicken. I enjoyed myself a lot being able to hang out with friends and learn new things I didn’t know. I can’t wait for the next event coming soon!

DANIEL CH
I had fun at Aloha Day. I played volleyball with a Beach ball. I learned how to dance the Hula. My mom came and she ate Hawaiian food. I wore a Hawaiian shirt and played games. I made a sand castle and saw my friends at Seeds.

BRIAN
What I did at Aloha Days is relax and eat food and listen to music and play games.

The Media Lab at SEEDs for Autism

Thanks to a generous grant from Thunderbird Charities, our Media Lab is the latest addition to the curriculum at SEEDs for Autism. This exciting department focuses on developing and practicing social skills through the use of technology and new media formats such as video production, animation and computer arts. Staying current with new innovations in communication and information, participants will utilize computers, cameras and video to share their stories, connect with others and document all the exciting things happening at SEEDs for Autism. 

Scott (instructor) provides insight on the art of film-making

JAKE M.
Doing something new can be frightening. In some cases though, doing new things can be awesome if it pertains to something you’re passionate about. Seeds for Autism has added a new department called the Media Lab. Students like me get to learn about framing shots and how to operate video cameras. We also get to learn how to setup stories. I’ve always been a big movie fan. However, the purpose of the Seeds media lab is to record videos promoting Seeds products. I’m good with promoting Seeds. I feel the media lab will be great for me because it allows me to pursue my interest in video and production and it will allow me the opportunity to make more people aware about Seeds and what we do.

The grand opening of our Media Lab!

My Experience Taking Dial-A-Ride

Developing Life Skills is exceedingly important for young adults on the autism spectrum. Whether it’s preparing our own food, practicing good hygiene or advocating for ourselves – all these practices contribute greatly to our quality of life and sense of independence. At SEEDs for Autism we empower our participants to step outside of their comfort zones and become more self-reliant. Many of our participants have started using public transportation to get to and from SEEDs and inspirational stories like Daniel’s encourage others to take this important step toward independence. 

Hello my name is Daniel N. and I’m going to be writing about my experience taking Dial-A-Ride. Dial-A-Ride has provided me with a sense of independence. The first time I took Dial-A-Ride I had moderate anxiety because I did not know what to expect from them. They have a half hour window until they have to arrive. When they arrive I present my DAR card to the driver and he / she drops me off at Seeds. They are required to sign me in for safety reasons because when I sign in my boss knows I arrived at my destination safely. The bus is usually a van but sometimes they get overloaded with requests. If they are overloaded they will send a taxi as a backup for the main bus, that way I can still get to my destination on time. I would recommend Dial- A-Ride to anybody who needs it.

https://www.valleymetro.org/dial-ride