“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” – Bethany Hamilton
For those on the autism spectrum, advocating for ourselves, interacting with others and stepping outside of our comfort zone often takes a tremendous amount of courage. At SEEDs for Autism, we strive to empower our participants and help them develop the skills to face these challenges and GROW. Every day we celebrate with our participants as they persevere and demonstrate acts of courage. We asked them to share their personal stories of bravery and to let our audience know that not all superheroes wear capes.
On my first trip to Japan with my dad and brother, we were rushing to catch a subway train. While dad and I made it in, the doors would have shut for my brother if I didn’t reach out for him, even if it meant that the doors could crush my arm. This caused the doors to open and close again while my brother finally got inside the train. It didn’t even hurt my arm that much. I just couldn’t leave him behind at the station, so I tried doing what I could. My dad seemed proud for my quick thinking, as it helped us make the train in time.
The bravest thing I have ever done was dealing with difficult people without having a meltdown and losing control of situations. I don’t listen to them so they won’t get me upset.
The bravest thing I have ever done, was when I was really young maybe around 5 or 6 years old. It is hard for me to recall certain details but this story has been told by my family enough that it has stuck in my memory. My sister was scared of getting a shot so I cut through the line and I got my shot to show her it was nothing to fear. My mom was surprised by my actions. Some people in line were slightly annoyed but once they understood the event, they did not seem to mind as much.
Four years ago I asked for a first time date with Leanne. When I asked her for the date she said yes and I was so excited and felt brave about myself. Now we are so happy together and we watch movies and eat at restaurants and we talk to each other and have fun spending time together.
I went on a helicopter ride in Hawaii. It was a blast of fun. I was scared at first and terrified before I went on the helicopter then I did it and got rid of my fear.
When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.
-William Arthur Ward
The people we admire inspire us to believe in ourselves, to reach further and strive to be our best. We asked SEEDs participants to write about the people they look up to and identify the qualities they have in common.
The person I admire is Lady Godiva because she didn’t hesitate to challenge unfair taxes in the eleventh century and she did it by riding naked on a horse. We both like to challenge ourselves to be courageous and to not take no for an answer.
I admire my friends Jesse and Nathan, because they have the same interests as me and play video games. They are so kind and friendly, and that’s how I am too.
One of my favorite athletes of all time is Roger Federer. He is the most successful male tennis player of all time. His character is exemplary on and off the court. He is a hard worker and leaves everything on the court regardless of the final result. He also has his own charity called The Roger Federer Foundation.
I can relate to Roger in two ways. The first being, we both pride ourselves on giving back to the community. Like Federer, I too put 100% effort in everything I do. Athletes like Roger Federer don’t come around very often.
I admire my grandfather John Caulfield because he was brave and I am also brave.
Writing poetry encourages creativity and self-expression. Poetry stirs the imagination and helps us grow emotionally and intellectually as we examine our thoughts and feelings in a symbolic way. Taking part in an exercise focused on self expression, the participants at SEEDs for Autism created a series of biographical poems.
Feeling good about ourselves and embracing the unique qualities that make us individuals is important for happiness in life. At SEEDs for Autism we understand that healthy self esteem enables us to stand up for ourselves, stretch our limits and gain the confidence to connect with others. We asked our participants to share the personal skills, talents and interests they have that make them feel special.
I think independence is the unique quality that makes me special. For example, I ride the Valley Metro bus without assistance, and I walk about half a mile to and from the nearest bus stop.
I never give up. I’m relentless.
My unique quality that’s very special to me and everyone I know would be that I have a talent for drawing and making pieces of art.
My sense of humor is a unique quality that I have and it feels good when I can spread that humor to other individuals.
I’m good at singing. It makes me feel special.
I feel like I’m good at cleaning things, organizing and mopping. And I like to help show my family the healthy things they should eat.
I have good skills of drawing, acting, singing, and dancing.
I have a really wild imagination when it comes to writing stories.
Lindsey Vonn was an American skier who spent 19 seasons on the World Cup Tour. She is also a decorated Olympian who competed for the U.S. Olympic team. She finished her Career on February 11th 2019 after receiving a bronze medal in the World Ski Championships downhill time trials discipline. Lindsey Vonn’s career, which was the most dominant all-time, was also riddled by injuries.
Two major Injuries late in her career caused her to miss most of the 2013 season and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Lindsey Vonn’s resilience is a true inspiration.
List of major accomplishments:
- Four Olympic appearances (2002, 2006, 2010, 2018)
- Thee Olympic medals (including a gold medal in 2010)
- 82 World Cup wins
- 137 podiums
- Four overall titles
- 16 discipline titles
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