What Have You Done At Seeds That Makes You Feel Proud?

We were created for meaningful work, and one of life’s greatest pleasures is the satisfaction of a job well done.
-John C. Maxwell

At SEEDs for Autism, we create many opportunities for our participants to experience a sense of accomplishment, build self-esteem and achieve a feeling of satisfaction for a job well done. We asked our participants to share their thoughts on the things they’ve done at SEEDs that make them feel proud. 

JUSTIN M.
I made some earrings in jewelry at SEEDs that made me feel proud. It was very easy to do.

CONNOR
I have done and made so many things at Seeds, but to pick what makes me most proud is difficult. The things I make that I’m most proud of are stuff I make in the Wood Department. I love turning the wood, and Ed (instructor) says I’m very good at it.

DERRICK
In the Metal department I made metal ostriches with Lenny’s (instructor) help. It made me feel good because it took a good amount of time and effort finish the ostriches.  It made me feel proud enough to finish them.

CHRIS
What I’ve been doing at SEEDS was that I improved a lot on my abilities to adapt to different situations in each class. Like when someone in my class is having a bad moment, I would ask staff if I could take a break to avoid getting involved. Or when I helped my peers by showing them what I do in one of my classes. I have become patient with everybody at SEEDS and helped out at the front desk. I have also learned how to manage my anger by taking breaks. Overall, SEEDS helped me improve on my behavior and this makes me proud.

KYLE D.
Spa is my favorite department at Seeds. I’m good at making soap. It makes me feel proud.

JARED
Social Skills is my favorite department at Seeds. I’m good at listening. I’m good at communicating. It makes me feel proud.

KERI
Something I did at Seeds that made me feel proud was that I made a nice ceramic cactus soap dish and painted it well. It was nice and I felt good about it.

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Struggling With Something New: What did you do to improve?

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

When met with new experiences, it is often a struggle to overcome obstacles and improve – but this is how we GROW! At SEEDs for Autism we encourage and empower our participants to face challenges and develop the inner strength to persist and keep trying. We asked some of our participants to write about a time when they struggled with something new – and what they did to improve. 

DANIEL N.
There was a time when I struggled with weight training so I worked hard to gain physical strength. I trained with lighter weights then as I got stronger I dialed up the resistance to build muscle in the back which are the most critical muscles for bench press. I won my weight division in both bench and dead lift.

NATHAN B
There was a time where I struggled at Fry’s which is where I work. When I first got hired at Fry’s I was very nervous and I had no I idea what to do really. I struggled in the beginning. I would bag the wrong things together, I would not do a very good job on carts by only doing a few at a time, and one time I accidentally hit a customers a car with one of the shopping carts. Let’s just say my early times at Fry’s were a struggle. But I didn’t give up and over time I got better and better at Fry’s to eventually thriving at Fry’s. That is how I struggled with something new and overcame that obstacle.

MICHAEL S
I struggled with math in High School. To improve I slowed down my answers. I worked out the problem first. Then I got better at math.

ISAIAH
I struggle sometimes when I work on something hard like moving heavy objects. Now when I lift heavy boxes or heavy packages I prove to be mature because I don’t use bad language and yelling and screaming.

CRUSADERS For The Future (update: April 2019)

Hey Everybody, It’s Chris M. I work at SEEDS For Autism as one of its clients. I’m also working on a dream project called “CRUSADERS For The Future” which I hope to make into a new video game. Do you remember that? Now, here are some updates on my progress.

I’m now working on a game proposal to present to a company. I’ve been reaching out to their representatives to see if they would be interested in helping me with my project, which typically they would ignore. Then, I contacted one video game developer and they sent an actual response, saying they are interested and want to see more, even though I’m new to making game proposals. I’m still working on my proposal so I can show the developer what my game will be.

This has been a dream project. Wish me luck!

Poetry at SEEDs

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.

What Unique Quality Do You Have That Makes You Feel Special?

 

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.

MICHAEL IS.
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.

CONNOR
I never give up. I’m relentless.

CHRIS M.
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.

JAKE M.
My sense of humor is a unique quality that I have and it feels good when I can spread that humor to other individuals.

DANIEL CH
I’m good at singing. It makes me feel special.

ANTHONY
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.

RYAN D.
I have good skills of drawing, acting, singing, and dancing.

JESSE
I have a really wild imagination when it comes to writing stories.

Trying New Things

Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.
– Bethany Hamilton

At SEEDs for Autism we empower our participants to step outside of their comfort zones and GROW! Whether it’s learning a new skill, meeting new people or engaging in new experiences – trying new things takes courage. We asked our participants to share their experiences about a time when they did something they were afraid to try and how they felt afterwards. 

JESSICA
The time I went on the Terror Tower ride at California Adventures. I hate falling rides and they scare me so bad and it was also a scary ride as well. But my parents convinced me and I did. Falling was so scary but I did it. Then I went again and now I love it. So my lesson to the world is try something once and if you don’t like it you don’t have to do it again. But if you do, do it.

SONJA
The first time I rode the bus I was not looking forward to it. I wanted to stay home in bed and not go anywhere. Then my dad came with me and after we stepped off the bus I felt like I could breathe again and since then I’ve been taking the bus to my dad’s work.

ERIK
At least 25 years ago, my parents persuaded me to attempt to ride a bicycle for the first time. Naturally, I was nervous and very reluctant to try. I did not get very far on my first attempt. I fell down and got scraped quite a bit. I still get some nasty bruises even today. Over the years, I got better and better at riding my own bike.

MICHAEL S.
I was afraid to take an airplane to Los Angeles. But I did it. It wasn’t that bad because there were two girls on the plane. I’m not afraid of airplanes anymore.

DUSTIN
I was afraid to come to SEEDs but now I am happy to be here.

DANIEL N.
I was afraid to forge metal at SEEDs but I did it anyway and I felt the emotion of pride.

Comics, Cartoons and Stop-Motion Animation

Last month, our Comics, Cartoons and Stop-Motion Animation workshop provided a wonderful opportunity for adults on the autism spectrum to express themselves creatively, explore their talents and practice social skills together. Sharing this popular area of interest with others created a positive, encouraging environment where participants could engage with their peers, build friendships and GROW! We asked some of the attendees to share their experiences with us. 

BRANDON (Assistant Media Lab Instructor, former SEEDs participant)
Instructing at a community event does raise the bar when you are learning to be a teacher. Given that I was teaching stop motion animation at our Comics & Cartoons Workshop, it was quite a surprise to see participants take part in the class. Seeing seventeen guests coming to the event and feeling excited about animating sure was a challenge as most were not familiar with the medium.

It was an honor having Scott Pfister (Media Lab Instructor) aboard and a big help with Jake and Ethan.  In my experience with the pair, Ethan is quite a tech wizard and Jake has the potential to become a director. Our crew was wonderful given that we were sparking creative fires for the visitors of our workshop.  That itself was a success, and that the individuals that joined us had a hand at making a short video with the figures that were used for the set portion. The intent was that they were to have fun and learn something new, itself being quite an accomplishment. Overall, the event was successful and I hope to do more teaching on the medium.

JAKE M. (Workshop Co-Facilitator and SEEDs participant)
On Saturday February 16th I co-led the Stop-Motion Animation Workshop event at Seeds for Autism. I taught the participants how to build a set for stop motion-animation. Other instructors included Brandon, Ethan, and the Seeds Video Lab Instructor Scott. In addition to set building, participants got hands on experience with handling lego characters and moving them through a sequence in order to create a movie. Students also got to see a demonstration of the editing process. Being a leader felt good because I got to show people an interesting movie making skill which is also an art form.

CHRIS M.
I went to the Comics, Cartoons and Stop-Motion Animation Workshop on Saturday, the 19th of February. In the Comics section, I helped show my group how to tell a story in comic strip form. Then we made our own comic strips. I recreated a scene from the new HellBoy movie that is coming soon. Next, in the Cartoons section, we did paintings of pop art sound effects. My painting was a lightning bolt with the words “Thunder Strike”.

And finally, in the Stop-Motion section, we learned how to make animations using toys and puppets. I was helping Brandon the instructor with doing an animated short with LEGOs while everyone else was learning from the videos. The workshop overall was pretty neat and I look forward to what they’ll come up with in the next workshop.

JEFF
I was at the Comics workshop. I participated in all three events: comic strips, pop art and stop motion animation. I especially enjoyed the beautifully done “Mer-Mom” short shown as an example. All together I’d say this was a pretty educating experience. I can’t say what I learned in words but doing it helped me, let’s say, flow with it.

 

 

JOEL
I went to the Comics, Cartoons and Animation workshop. I drew backgrounds and made stories with cartoon characters. I made a painting that said POW! I made LEGO animation. I had fun.

SONJA
Last month I attended a Seeds for Autism workshop that was about the art of making comics, cartoons and stop motion. I started with how to create a comic strip and how to set up a scene adding in the characters you want to use and how to make a smooth transition from panel to panel. The next class was a painting class. We were painting the sound effects that writers in comics used to emphasize the weight of the situation to get the reader more attached to the characters they love. Finally there was the stop motion class where I learned how to manipulate the model to get the exact shot you want and how it takes patience, time and effort to make your stop motion film the way the creator intended it to be. The classes were really fun and I enjoyed myself a lot. I hope to do more workshops in the future.