WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE DEPARTMENTS AT SEEDS?

At SEEDs, our participants rotate through a variety of individual departments to experience different jobs, learn new skill sets and discover new interests, talents and connections. This rotation helps students become more flexible, step out of their comfort zones and GROW. We asked our participants to tell us about their favorite departments, and describe what they learned there.

DUSTIN
My favorite departments at SEEDs are Media lab, Newsletter and Wood. I like Media lab because Katrina is nice and I learned to use Photoshop. In the Newsroom I get to use computers and write for the news. I also learned how to use the Google Drive. In Wood I like to build cool things and I learned how to use tools and sandpaper.

NATHAN
My favorite department at SEEDs is the Newsletter Department. The reason the Newsletter Department is my favorite department, is because I can write about the stuff that I am interested in. It allows me to express myself and show others the stuff that I am interested in.

OSCAR
My Favorite department at Seeds is the Newsroom because I get to work on the computer. I learned writing, I learned graphics and I learned about social media. Working in this department makes me feel happy.

ANGEL
My favorite department is the Newsletter and Media Lab. I like it that I get to learn how to write movie reviews or write about events that take place in SEEDS and other places. In Media Lab I also learn how to copy and paste an image and also how to draw/design.

SONJA
My favorite departments at Seeds are Newsletter, Screen Printing and Weaving. In Screen Printing we take the designs we make and print them on screens. Then we cover the backside of the screen in ink, and print the design on the shirt. We also take designs from clients and print them on products for them. I have learned how to create designs on photoshop and how to print them on shirts, bags, and hoodies for clients or for Seeds. I like being in this department because I love creating new designs for Seeds products and clients.

JESSE L.
My favorite departments at SEEDs are:

Newsroom
I work with computers & write stories for the blog.
I learned how to deal with tech problems.

Woodworking
I work with tools to create all kinds of stuff from wood.
I learned how laugh at mistakes.

Spa
I help create soap & other personal care items.
I learned how to chill with friends 😊

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!

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Learning how to deal with being inside during the Covid-19 Pandemic

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If you’re feeling trapped because you can’t leave your house or interact with people who aren’t family members, I’ve got a list of things you can do to productively pass time.

  1. Write in a journal
    1. Whether you’re a writer, or just have something you want to say, but no one to talk to, writing in a journal is a great way to express yourself.
    2. It can be happy things or sad, it depends on what you’re feeling at the moment. It really helps.
  2. Pray
    1. If you’re a spiritual or religious person, praying in times like these might be the best remedy.
    2. You can also go on websites that provide daily devotionals
  3. Read a book
    1. Reading a book is a great way to divert your attention to something other than negative thoughts.
    2. Whether you’re reading fiction, nonfiction, chapter books, or picture books, just read something you’ll enjoy.
  4. Start a hobby
    1. Some people like collecting certain items, or doing activities as a break from life.
    2. Different hobbies or collections include scrapbooking, coin collecting, trading cards, sports memorabilia.
  5. Sing a song
    1. Singing a song is a great way to express your creativity.
    2. It’s a great way to spread joy in yourself and others.
    3. The key is singing something upbeat, otherwise it defeats the purpose, which is to lighten the mood of your day.
    4. If you don’t know the lyrics, go to youtube and find a sing-along version so that you can practice the words.
    5. It’s a good mind exercise.
  6. Watch a movie
    1. Watching a movie is always a great way to pass time.
    2. You can watch something new, or something that you’ve seen several times.

I hope this helps you handle the stress of staying home.

Jake M.

If you enjoy sports, please visit Jake’s blog: Jake’s Daily Sports Report

Things I Do At Home by Matthew N.

Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life. 
Robert Genn
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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.

The artist at work

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.

Matthew poses with his completed painting

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!

Mister Rogers and Me

Image result for mr rogers

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?

by Chris M.

What Does It Take To Be a Good Friend?

“Friends are the sunshine of life.” – John Hay

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. We asked our participants to share their thoughts on what it takes to be a good friend.

BRIANNA
A good friend is friendly, kind, helpful, someone you can talk to, spend some time with, and makes you laugh!

NATHAN B.
It takes a lot to be a good friend. For starters you need to be kind and friendly. You also need to be selfless and also need to be loyal as well. The final thing you need to be a good friend is to be funny and make them happy. That is what it takes to be a good friend.

CHRIS M.
I believe that a good friend will always be there to support you in achieving your goals, whether it’s a family member or a best friend. And sometimes you will have to be a good friend in order to support other people you know. A bad friend, however, would offer bad advice or lie to people, only to make things worse. Overall, being a good friend to others would depend on you. If you know what’s right or wrong, just do it.

MICHAEL B.
What makes a good friend? It is a question that passes through our minds at multiple times throughout our journey in life. This question guides and shapes our interactions, relationships and the future of every person we meet on planet earth. As a result, I believe the three qualities that make up a good friend are compassion, empathy and a good understanding of interpersonal relationships. Overall, these three traits when displayed correctly in the appropriate manner convey to others that they have the skills needed to be not just be a good friend, but an outstanding friend to rely on at any given time.

DANIEL N.
Getting to know the other person better is very important for friendships to form and sometimes they take years. Listening to the other party is fuel to form friendships.Talk about what the other party is interested in and topics that are appropriate for the conversation like “What do you like to do for fun?” Listen when the other party is talking to you and talk when it is your turn. In conclusion, friendships are very fragile and they need to be maintained.

JUSTIN M.
How to be a good friend: 1) Introduce yourself. 2) Tell funny jokes. 3) Make them happy. 4) Help them with a puzzle. 5) Shake hands.

Personal Stories: What Is The Bravest Thing You’ve Ever Done?

“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. 

MATTHEW
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.

CAMILLE
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.

JESSE
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.

BRIAN D.
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.

KERI
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.

The Importance of Customer Service

“Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.”
-Ken Blanchard


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.

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.

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.