Friendships Grow at SEEDs for Autism

Friendships enrich our lives, make us happy and provide us with a sense of purpose and belonging. At SEEDs for Autism we understand that making friends can be especially difficult for those on the autism spectrum. Our multifaceted program helps participants develop important social skills which empower them to interact with their peers, connect with others and build friendships. Recently, SEEDs participants Daniel N. and Francis decided to go out to lunch together. We asked them to share their experience with us. 

Hello, this is Daniel N. and Francis. We wanted to get together over the break so we exchanged numbers at SEEDs. We texted each other to get together. We went to Farm And Craft for lunch in old town Scottsdale. I (Daniel) ordered grilled chicken salad and Francis ordered the protein pancakes. Francis talked about his L.A. trip and I talked about lightning. We also talked about the weather together. Going out to lunch together made us feel proud and independent. Yes, we would do it again. It was great and enjoyable.

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!


Talia’s New Job

Developing job skills is a vital part of our program at SEEDs for Autism. Our dedicated staff work closely with our participants to help them create resumes, fill out job applications and prepare for interviews through a series of role plays. These talented individuals are capable, employable and excited to become a valued part of the work force!
Please join us in congratulating Talia on her new job at The Mellow Mushroom!

I got a new job at the Mellow Mushroom. Danny (Social Skills Instructor) helped me practice interview skills. He helped me make a resume. My job is unloading the dishwasher and putting away the dishes on Sunday and Monday. I’m feeling excited and scared and I feel very proud.

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

Happiness Poetry at SEEDs for Autism

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. Responding to an online writing assignment, the participants at SEEDs for Autism explore what HAPPINESS means to them by describing this joyful emotion through the window of their own experiences.


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

Interviews With Family Members

At SEEDs for Autism, one of the creative ways we practice social skills is by conducting interviews. Participants make eye contact, utilize active listening and focus on the speaker to gain information. In response to an online writing assignment, SEEDs participants practiced their skills at home by interviewing members of their family. 


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

How Has Coming to SEEDs Improved Your Life?

Every day at SEEDs for Autism, we see personal development, self-confidence and skill building as our participants step out of their comfort zones and GROW! We celebrate the progress as these talented adults on the autism spectrum learn to embrace new experiences, gain confidence, find meaningful employment, achieve independence and cultivate friendships with their peers. One of the best ways to measure this growth is to ask our participants directly: How has coming to SEEDs improved your life?

Before I started working at Sprouts, I’d been going to SEEDs for Autism for seven years. SEEDs taught me how to find a job, how to apply for jobs, how to make resumes, being flexible, making new friends, staying on task and other things. Two months ago, I applied for a job at Sprouts and I got an interview a week later. After the interview they hired me right away and I started my first day at Sprouts on February 5. I love it so far because everyone is so nice and friendly. My co-workers are also nice, friendly and fun to chat with. This Thursday will be my one month anniversary at Sprouts. I’m so proud of myself that I found a job and still come to SEEDs. My position at Sprouts is a Courtesy Clerk, which is bagging, collecting carts, keeping the store and the bathrooms clean and helping people load their groceries in their car. 

SEEDs has helped me improve my social skills, and learn new things as well!

Seeds has helped me learn skills to deal with stressful events in my life. Also when I feel stressed out or upset, projects at SEEDs help take my mind off what happened.

  Talia, Ryan M., Isaiah and Kyle build social skills as they cultivate friendships!

I have friends and Seeds makes me happy.

My parents want me to be independent and make my own money when I get a job to take care of my family when they grow old. The reason I came to Seeds was to find the right place where people can understand me when I’m feeling stressed and also I would like to have someone help me with my job when I’m having trouble with my tasks and skills.
Seeds is a better place than any other job training I tried before since I had a very difficult time doing my job right and I got yelled at a lot of times for not listening carefully for instructions. With Seeds, my instructors are nice to me and I learn new things at each department I go to on the schedule that Ms. Mary Ann makes.
I like the teamwork at Seeds because I like to get along with others and make things together while learning new things. Whenever I’m feeling stress I will let my instructors know I need to calm down and go to a quiet place to pull myself together. 

 Jesse demonstrates focus as he works on a project in the Sewing Department.

Seeds makes my life better. My friends make me happy. I learn about making goat milk soap and I learn about sewing. Seeds make me happy.

During my stint at Seeds, I have reunited with some longtime friends from my elementary and high school days while also making some new friends. Before my stint, woodturning was the area where I did not have experience, but over time, I have learned firsthand from the instructor, Ed. Also, in Newsletter, I have seen poetry created by fellow participants, which inspired me to create my own poem below as an example. The poem I wrote is what I think represents love in the five senses from my perspective.

Love looks like a boy and a girl holding hands
Love sounds like ocean waves
Love tastes like chocolate cake
Love smells like vanilla coconut bath soap
Love feels like a girl kissing me on my cheek

Friendships GROW at Seeds for Autism!


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

Kickboxing at SEEDs for Autism

SEEDs for Autism continues to meet the needs of the autism community by presenting engaging online classes where participants can connect with their peers, share experiences and GROW. Kickboxing reduces stress, improves coordination, increases balance and boosts confidence. Presented by Katrina (SEEDs instructor), this exciting virtual kickboxing class has been very popular with our students. We asked SEEDs participants to share their experiences with us.

I was interested in kickboxing to join with my friends. I enjoyed the class. I learned a different type of exercise and it made me feel good in the end.

I attended the kickboxing group for fun. I experienced breathing, uppercut, side cut, and stretching. I enjoyed the fun music. I felt pumped up and strong.

The Kickboxing Experience
I’ve practiced in the ways of the Martial Arts for many years back when I lived in Indiana. I’ve learned a lot back then, mostly in the Art of Taekwondo. So when I heard there would be a Kickboxing class during the SEEDs chats, I went ahead and gave it a try so I could relive memories.
After the first class, I was sweating from all the punches and kicks I demonstrated, but it was worth it. It might not be like Taekwondo, but I find kickboxing to be simpler than what I’ve known back in Indy.
Since that first class, I’ve been attending kickboxing classes each time they show up on the SEEDs schedule. They provide a good way for me to stay active and in shape. I wonder what everyone else who attends kickboxing thinks after participating in this class?

I was interested in kickboxing because I wanted to do more exercise every day. I had a fun experience; I was able to see my friends and learn new movements. I learned how to do hooks, kicks, and upper cuts. What I enjoyed most was seeing Katrina (Instructor) and everyone trying so hard. It made me feel great to have a day of exercise.

I was interested because I wanted to see what kickboxing is all about. I liked the music and the atmosphere. It was just right. I was able to do all the moves. It is meant to be punches and kicks. It will teach you how to defend yourself. It can teach you defense moves and physical moves. I think I would recommend this class because it’s physical and it will teach you moves. But I have to be careful of my knees. It made me feel proud and made me sweat. I would choose both chair yoga and kickboxing.


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

Chair Yoga at SEEDs for Autism

As part of our exciting online programming, SEEDs for Autism created a series of virtual groups, workshops and clubs where adults on the autism spectrum can connect with their peers through shared interests and opportunities. In this popular class, SEEDs participants improve balance, increase flexibility and relieve stress as they practice chair yoga together. We invited class attendees to share their experiences.

I can do breathing exercises. Yoga helps me relax. It helps me feel better. I can stretch my arms and legs. I felt peaceful and restful.

I was interested in attending the Chair Yoga group to keep myself well exercised. I found the Chair Yoga session to be quite interesting indeed. I learned that in Chair Yoga, flexibility is key. I enjoyed the fact that it loosens the muscles. It made me feel calm, peaceful, relaxed & unwound.

When I first started out, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the experience. I’ve been known to be restless as well as ansty in everyday life and have never attended yoga before. I was nervous about giving it up on the first tryout. Once I gave the class a try, I began to relax while taking my time breathing as I followed Katrina’s (Instructor) workout in front of the class. I would also practice slow movements while I watched her perform. Since then, I’ve been attending more yoga classes to get myself more exercise as well as to learn tranquility so I could do better in life.

I was interested in joining the chair yoga because I wanted to do some exercising in the morning to start my day.  My experience in it was fun and I got to see my friends and wish them a good morning. I learned the different positions to help stretch certain parts of the body like the legs, arms and torso. I enjoyed seeing Katrina (Instructor) it’s always nice to see her and seeing everyone else trying their best. It made me feel great to stretch and have a great start to my day.

I participated in the chair yoga class. It has been fun. I learned different exercises and breathing exercises. It made me feel tired.


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

An Act of Kindness by Anna P

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart

At SEEDs for Autism, we encourage our participants to share their stories. Simple moments we experience can change the way we view the world and help us understand our purpose in life. Here, Anna shares an experience she had at work while helping a customer. It is an inspiration to all of us, and a story worth sharing.

When a person works at a job, like McDonalds or as an accountant at a bank they may think they’re not really helping people in a major way but this is false. One example I have that shows that any job can make a difference happened at Fry’s. I am a courtesy clerk and one of my coworkers told me to help a lady. The lady was blind and had a cane. Because she was blind she couldn’t see where to go to get certain items she needed.

How I helped her was by directing her to go straight, turn backwards or to the side. I was a bit scared helping her though because maybe she wouldn’t know how to maneuver around the store with the directions I gave her. However she did know and I learned more about her as we had a conversation. Where she lived the water was out and she had to ask a neighbor for help. This made me want to help her more because no water in Arizona can lead to health problems and death so I wanted to make sure to give her water. This showed me just how important my job could be.

She used Paratransit and I ran/jogged to make sure the Paratransit was there. I was very focused on making sure she got to the Paratransit because in a way I made a friend when talking and helping her. And friends to me are people who help other people they know. Everything I ever did at Fry’s was worth it because going there on the days scheduled helped me be familiar with my coworkers and the workplace. That helped me find her the items she needed. Best part is the lady gave me a hug making me know that she appreciated me.

Please anyone working at a career they don’t think makes a difference, remember it can. And it’s worth waiting for even at a job you hate.


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

How Has SEEDs Improved Your Life?

It is so inspirational to watch SEEDs participants as they embrace new experiences, rise up to meet challenges, build friendships, develop life-changing skills and even become role models for their peers! We invited our participants to examine their personal journeys and share stories of the improvement they have seen within themselves since joining our program. 

Before I became a participant at SEEDS For Autism, I had a really hard time being patient with other people. Since then, I’ve been doing much better, although I still have room to improve.

When I first moved to Arizona with my parents, we had no one to turn to and we were being misguided. Then we tried out SEEDS. At first, I was getting upset over other participants and how the schedule worked. But, as time passed on I started to relax and I learned a lot about being patient with some of the other participants and I became their friend. I also learned about the classes I take here, such as Newsletter, Ceramics, Weaving and Silk Screening, although I still need to get used to custodial duty at times.

I hope to go further with building my patience with others and I hope they will learn as well. How about you?

When I started here at SEEDs I did not know what to expect so I listened throughout the day. Very funny, a voice in my head told me to pay attention. Since then I have learned how to use tools in the Wood-Working Dept. I also learned life skills and social skills like how to act appropriately and mature at a job site. We did some role-playing about how a boss would give you instructions and then you get it done.

There are also some people at SEEDs that I have reacquainted with as friends like Matthew, Dustin, and Victor. I am currently working on building new friendships with others. I believe friendships are very important.

SEEDs has improved my life because I have made a lot of friends and that makes me happy. I have learned many things at SEEDs like coping skills that help me deal with difficult people without having a meltdown. That makes me more mature, responsible, and I feel more relaxed. I also learned how to make beautiful ceramics and that gives me a good feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

SEEDs for Autism has made me a better person in many ways. SEEDs has opened my eyes to new methods of creative expression. It allows me to be a more productive member of society. Finally, it improves my social expression abilities.

Seeds has improved my life because I see my friends and learn new things. That makes me happy.

Seeds has improved my life by helping me be more independent and more confident. My communication skills are better and I feel better about my myself. I have friends here that make me laugh and be happy.

Seeds has improved life because now I have more friends. I also have more confidence in myself as well. Before I came to SEEDs I didn’t have many friends. I also didn’t have much confidence in myself. I also didn’t do much but sit at home all day. That is how SEEDs has improved my life. 

When I started SEEDs, I was very nervous, because it was a new chapter for me to learn how to communicate, make eye contact, work with others and more. So now that I returned to SEEDs, I’m still nervous…but I’m controlling my personality. What I improved in my social skills is that I get to talk with the instructors and my peers.

Seeds has provided me a lot of new friends to talk to, and teaches us every morning about life skills.

When I first started at SEEDs in June 2017, it was an all-new experience to me, sort of like my elementary and high school days. Since I started, I have reunited with some people I have known since those days. Ever since SEEDs relocated to its current location in October 2017, I met some very interesting people, some of whom have been paired up with me in different departments. All this time I have been coming mainly for the social aspect.


This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our website. Thank you!

Cookin’ Up the Love at SEEDs for Autism

Learning to cook and prepare meals is an important life skill and a step toward independence for those on the autism spectrum. In the Culinary Department at SEEDs, participants learn kitchen safety, proper food handling, meal planning, good nutrition and so much more! As a non-profit organization, we rely on financial support from compassionate, engaged supporters who care about the growth and future of adults on the autism spectrum. Inspired by the talents of our participants and the generosity of local businesses and heartfelt donors, SEEDs for Autism is proud to present COOKIN’ UP THE LOVE – a virtual fundraiser and live streaming event celebrating food, family and the season of giving.

Visit our website for more information:

COOKIN’ UP THE LOVE AT SEEDS FOR AUTISM – November 20th: 5pm-7pm

  • LIVE Q & A





$500 donor: Executive Chef

  • 2 “Char’s Choice” Cookbooks
  • Wooden Serving Pedestal
  • Set of 4 Wooden Appetizer Forks
  • $100 SEEDs Gift Card
  • Cookin’ Up the Love Apron

$250 donor: Chef de Cuisine

  • 2 “Char’s Choice” Cookbooks
  • Set of 4 Ceramic Placeholders
  • Wooden Salt & Pepper Shaker Set
  • Wooden bowl

$100 donor: Sous Chef

  • 2 “Char’s Choice” Cookbooks
  • Wooden Bottle Stopper
  • Wine bag
  • Set of 6 Wine Charms

$50 donor: Chef de Partie

  • 2 “Char’s Choice” Cookbooks
  • Cookin’ Up the Love Apron

$40 donor: Commis Chef

  • Cookin’ Up the Love Apron

$25 donor: Saucier

  • SEEDs for Autism Cookbook