Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life. Robert Genn .
Creating art relieves stress, builds self-esteem and fills us with a sense of purpose, accomplishment and peace. At SEEDs for Autism we understand the healing power of art and recognize the importance of having an outlet to express ourselves creatively during these difficult times. Encouraged by his family, Matthew N. shares his thoughts, his inspiration and his amazing artwork with our readers.
Today is about 2 months that we are dealing with the coronavirus situation. My mom wanted me to write about my activities. I had to stay inside and worry about our future. I spent a lot of time painting to relax. New York City is a place that had many cases of Covid 19. I painted New York City under the lantern to represent the symbol of Hope. The lanterns light up the dark sky. I got the idea from the movie “Tangled”. I hope that things will be better soon but I hear mixed results. Some people on TV said that it is getting better. Some people said that it is worse. Everything is still confusing to me.
SEEDs for Autism is a non-profit organization that provides education and vocational training for young adults on the autism spectrum. Participants learn a variety of job skills, social skills and life skills in a structured environment focused on the arts. Our activities and programs encourage our students to step outside their comfort zones and grow.
Please visit our website to learn more about this life-changing program!
When I was a small boy, I used to watch the old Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood series on PBS Kids because my Dad was working at a PBS station. When he first met the actor who played Mr. McFeeley, Mr. Newell invited my family to meet Mr. Rogers himself at his studio.
When we got to the office where Fred Rogers worked, I was so excited that I wanted to rush up and hug him, but I kind of tackled him into his sofa. During our visit, he told my Mom that she was very special to have a son like me and that she should be proud. Then we took our picture with Mister Rogers. That was a time when he was getting frail and then later on he passed away.
Since then, we became good friends with Mr. Newell and we’ve been visiting with him at times. I still respect Mister Rogers’ legacy and hope to keep up the good work in the future. Do you enjoy Mister Rogers’ special messages of kindness?
“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.
“Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.”
At SEEDs for Autism, one of the most unique aspects of our program is providing real life opportunities for participants to turn the skills they learn into ACTION! During our annual Art Jam, SEEDs participants will be conducting tours, assisting customers and providing instruction to the community through a series of exciting workshops. We asked some of our participants to share their thoughts on how they provide excellent customer service.
CHRIS M. During my time working at SEEDS for Autism, I started learning to check out items for customers who buy them. They were purchasing each item and I helped with scanning the item to see how much it costs, letting the customer know how much the item costs and then I took the payment using a square reader.
All that time, I was acting in a positive and professional mood, asking the customer questions about the payment, doing the job with a smile and asking for assistance when I needed help.
I felt like I did a nice job on my first time as a cashier at SEEDS and think I can get a paid job at a store one day thanks to what I’ve learned at SEEDS For Autism. SONJA Customer Service is important because it shows you care about the customer and want them to come back to buy more of your product. A good example of customer service is when I did an event over the weekend with SEEDs. I said hello to customers and told them about our products and what we do to help the autism community.
JESSICA I deal with customers on a daily basis, and how to provide a good customer experience is to greet them with a smile and say have a good day.
NATHAN B. Customer service is important because it lets customers know that they matter and that purchasing our stuff is appreciated. A good example of giving good customer service is by greeting people and asking if they need help with anything. Another example would be to help them out with whatever their needs are. That is why customer service is important.
JAKE P. 5 Ways to Give Good Customer Service: 1 Look at the customer. 2 Smile. 3 Be friendly. 4 Be Helpful. 5 Be flexible.
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.
SYDNEY 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.
CAMILLE 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.
JAKE M. 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.
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.
I made some earrings in jewelry at SEEDs that made me feel proud. It was very easy to do.
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.
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.
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.
Spa is my favorite department at Seeds. I’m good at making soap. It makes me feel proud.
Social Skills is my favorite department at Seeds. I’m good at listening. I’m good at communicating. It makes me feel proud.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.