People on the autism spectrum often exhibit an intense focus on a particular area of interest. These affections may change over time, yet the level of enthusiasm remains the same. At SEEDs for Autism, we recognize that these passionate hobbies offer a level of comfort and stability to these unique individuals. From there, we can introduce new ideas and challenges to help our participants GROW. Daniel loves the animals of Africa, and during the creation of this blog post, he confidently stepped outside of his comfort zone. Apart from performing the technical skills of online research, typing, uploading images, adding categories and finding appropriate tags, Daniel opened his mind and created poems about his favorite animals.
Animals and Rainbows by Camille
“The drawing is really cool because it’s vibrant, creative, and cute.” Brianna
Developing social skills is an important area of focus at SEEDs for Autism. One of the creative, yet practical ways we practice these skills is by conducting interviews. Participants make eye contact, utilize active listening and focus on the speaker to gain information. Brianna put these skills into ACTION by interviewing one of her peers about her love of drawing.
INTERVIEW WITH CAMILLE:
Question: What are your favorite things to draw?
Answer: Nature, landscapes, travels, and animals.
Question: How long have you been drawing?
Answer: I started when I was little.
Question: How did you learn to draw so well?
Answer: By looking at pictures, illustrations, cartoons and different shapes or something to get ideas.
Question: Why do you like drawing?
Answer: Because it’s fun, relaxing, it makes me happy, and it’s my hobby!
Self Portrait by Camille
“I like this drawing because it’s pretty abstract.” Brianna
People on the autism spectrum often exhibit an intense focus on a particular area of interest. These affections may change over time, yet the level of enthusiasm remains the same. At SEEDs for Autism, we recognize that these passionate hobbies offer a level of comfort and stability to these unique individuals. From there, we can introduce new ideas and challenges to help our participants GROW. Daniel loves the animals of Africa, and during the creation of this blog post, he confidently stepped outside of his comfort zone. Apart from performing the technical skills of online research, typing, uploading images, adding categories and finding appropriate tags, Daniel opened his mind and imagined what he would say to these beloved animals.
Good morning Lion, you have beautiful yellow fur!
Good morning Meerkat, did you eat any good insects for breakfast today?
Good morning Warthog, I like your mud bath. Does it help you stay cool?
Good morning Hyena, I think you are a good hunter!
Good morning Hornbill! You are a Royal Adviser.
Good morning Mandrill, you are magical!
Good morning Giraffe, you are the tallest animal in our village!
By Daniel Ch
Hi! My name is Max and,I know what you’re thinking, he’s a tiny, young, abandoned little pet with no collar. Now, I’m waiting for the pet shop to open up their doors. A life on the run isn’t always what I wanted. I had it good until my stupid cage mate wanted to dare me to see how high I could jump on the trampoline and touch the top of the cage. Now, you’re probably wondering why did you take the dare in the first place? And you would be correct! But let’s start at the beginning. The day of my birth. My parents were the greatest. I was born in a rescue mission in Australia. Back then, you didn’t have rules, there was only a preserve, the den, my parents and me. Every couple of months a lucky little guy got to be picked out to become a candidate for adoption. You know who got picked out this time? It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my parents. It was always some other guinea pig that was fatter, cuter, fluffier and overall better looking. That was my life. I had everything I ever wanted; Food, shelter and loving parents that looked out for me. Then one day, I decided to ask mom and dad if I could take a walk outside my den. “ I don’t know sweetie” my mother said. “I promise, I’ll be careful”. “I would like to go and follow whatever that noise is that I hear every day” “you mean the human pets?” his mother replied? “Yes, so that’s what I hear” said the guinea pig uhmm… honey are you ok?” said his mother. “ Life is nice inside a rescue shelter but, if only I could see what’s beyond the grassy plain” he said. “But sweetie, you are-WE-are safe in our home. Besides there are hungry animals that would love nothing more than snacking on a plump, young, juicy guinea pig.” “Now, go to sleep.” Our inspection is tomorrow and you may be picked out by a nice family.” she replied. “Ok…. mother” Later that night, I was sleeping when I had a dream. I was following a trail of cookie crumbs to what knows where and it led to a giant cookie on top of a mountain. Beyond, I could hear a voice calling me. “Come, join us; we have more cookies” more cookies…cookies….coookkkkiiiiessss………………………………………………………………….”Cock a doodle doo! I awoke the next morning . “Mom! Dad!” I had this really weird dream last night”. I was following these cookie crumbs and this voice kept saying ‘“come,join us we have more cookies”’! Then a giant cookie on top of a mountain!” Outside a guard was eating a snack and leaving crumbs behind as he walked back to his shift.” It looked like-” I looked around for a good example to tell them. “It looked like that” He pointed to a trail of crumbs on the floor at the bottom of his cage. “I must follow the crumbs!!” he started to run but, as he did his mother and father caught him by the skin of his tail. “You’re not going anywhere young man!” said his mother. “ thats right” his father agreed. “Now, eat your breakfast!” she demanded. After breakfast, I played with Mr. Amigo, my squishy mariachi toy. “Not fair! Not fair!” I was sad that I couldn’t leave the shelter. I thought my parents wanted more for me but I couldn’t even convince them that wanted to explore the world. I squashed that squeaky toy as hard as I could. Pop! Out came a little snack. The rescuers liked to put little goodies and treats inside our toys as a reward for good behavior. But I hadn’t been good. What was this treat doing inside “Mr. Amigo” so I ate the treat. “Yummy”! I exclaimed. Hmmm… let’s try this again. I ate one more. Then, I popped out another and another… and another…. “Oooohhh, I don’t feel good.” things were going great ! I would cry wolf then rescuers would come get me and then I would be taken to the infirmary where I would be loaded with Gas-X and released to quarantine where I would stay for a couple days and eventually be released into the great beyond. It worked and that’s how I ended up here.
#1 Sugar Glider
Size: 12 – 13 in. (24 – 30 cm.)
Weight: 3 – 5 oz. (85 – 142 gm.)
Sugar gliders are found in Northern, Southern, and Eastern Australia. They live in large family groups from 15 – 30 or even more gliders. Like kangaroos and koalas, sugar gliders are marsupials. As their name states, sugar gliders can glide through the air. They use flaps of skin that they have attached between their arms like a hang glider to jump from tree to tree. (just like flying squirrels) I like sugar gliders not just because of their adorable faces, but also because I got to hold and pet one of my friends’ pet sugar gliders. I had never seen or even heard of a sugar glider, until I visited my friends in another state and saw the little guys. After that I asked my one of my friends if I could make a character based on him, but as a sugar glider. He said yes and named his character Tipit after his favorite sugar glider. I have loved sugar gliders ever since.
*Sugar gliders are nocturnal. (sleep during the day/ stay up all night.)
*Baby sugar gliders are called joeys, just like kangaroos and koalas.
*Sugar gliders can live up to 15 years in captivity. The average lifespan is 3 – 5 years in the wild.
*They can be kept as pets in certain parts of the world. But in the US there are some states where you can’t. These states are California, Hawaii, and Alaska.
During my winter break from SEEDS I had fun with my family, celebrating Christmas, going on our yearly trip to Williams AZ., and the most interesting thing we did exploring Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde. When we got to the park we saw a big bird cage filled with different kinds of parrots and lovebirds. We the got on a shuttle to the other side of the park, it was a bumpy ride. There we saw other animals like, ring-tailed lemurs, marmosets, a sloth, lions, wolves, tigers, and hyenas. We stopped for food then sat and watched the Tiger Splash show. The tigers were running around the pool playing with toys like giant house cats. It was cold hat day and I didn’t expect any of the tigers to go in the water, but once one of them noticed there was food on a raft it went for it and dived right in. But because it was cold and rainy the week we went, we had to track trough lots of mud. I was okay though because with all the fun I was having I didn’t mind getting muddy. There was a zip-line over the animals, my little sister was the only one of us brave enough to do it. She told me it was fun and didn’t feel like she was that high up. The last thing we did was go on the safari tour. We got to go on the safari bus and drive around close to the animals. Also on the safari tour we could feed a giraffe or a camel named Humphrey. The all the other animals on the tour had teeth that would hurt if it bit you while trying to feed it. Some of the people put the treat near their face to get a giraffe kiss. A kid sitting behind me tried to do that to one of the giraffes named Pilgrim. But Pilgrim almost missed and got me, but I ducked in time and didn’t get a sticky giraffe kiss. At the end of the day we all had fun at The Out of Africa Wildlife park and would definitely recommend going to visit.
~All photos taken by Breanna D.