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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was afraid to come to SEEDs but now I am happy to be here.
I was afraid to forge metal at SEEDs but I did it anyway and I felt the emotion of pride.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At SEEDs for Autism, our ongoing series of workshops provide new opportunities to empower our participants and encourage them to GROW! These talented young adults gain confidence as they share their skills with others, engage with the community and assist our staff during these inspiring interactive events. Last month, SEEDs participants Camille and Jake co-facilitated our Painting and Block Printing Side by Side workshop which was open to the community.
My name is Camille and I helped teach a painting workshop at SEEDS. On that day, I passed out the canvases to each person and I also designed the project everybody was working on. I designed a bird in its nest and everybody drew and painted it. I made sure everybody had clean water, helped them pick their paint and offered suggestions to make their drawings and paintings look better. I felt quite happy, confident and I look forward to teaching another painting class at SEEDS.
On Saturday, January 26th I led a block printing workshop at Seeds for Autism. The theme was birdhouses. The students had the opportunity to learn from scratch. After the students made their birdhouse designs they printed them on greeting cards. I felt really good about the workshop because I got to pass on a skill to others.
On Saturday the 26th of January Seeds hosted a whimsical Bird painting class open to the community. The Instructors for the class were Michele, who is also the Newsroom instructor, Richard and Camille. The process was first drawing out your idea on a piece of paper using a template as a guide in creating the bird. Next we began to sketch our drawings onto the canvas. Then we picked out the colors we wanted for our paintings. I did the bird first then the background and finally the little details to make it my own. It was a fun day and I can’t wait for the next painting class at Seeds.
I had a nice experience working at the Printmaking Workshop last Saturday. This was my very first time doing physical print designs that we put on cards. I was a little unsure about making prints at first, but I tired it out anyway. I learned how to carve out a design on an art plate called linoleum, then I learned how to paint the linoleum design with a roller and lastly I stamped the design onto some cards to finish and take home. I designed a greeting card with video game character Crash Bandicoot in it. I would like to try new things in future workshops.
Painting workshop participants pose with their beautiful artwork!
Print-making participants and their wonderful handmade greeting cards!
At SEEDs for Autism, our ongoing series of workshops provide new opportunities to empower our participants and encourage them to GROW. These talented young adults gain confidence interacting with the community as they assist our staff during these educational and inspirational events. We hope you will join us this Saturday to explore your creativity, make new friends and be part of this life-changing experience!
Click HERE to purchase tickets and reserve your spot today!
In 2018, SEEDs for Autism instructed, inspired and connected with the community through a series of Creative Workshops and Educational Lectures. We introduced Social Saturday Events where friendships were made, talents were discovered and adults on the autism spectrum gained the confidence to step outside of their comfort zones and GROW. We have added new departments, new products and we are excited to continue our mission with many more opportunities to come in the new year!
Everybody has their favorite holiday, for some it’s July Fourth others it’s Halloween. My favorite holiday is Christmas . But it’s not just Christmas day I love but also the season around which starts for me in December. I don’t really count November being in the Christmas season because for me it’s just the season where people go crazy over Black Friday and eat a lot. In December I think people are more friendly because of the holiday and seem to be more giving to the less fortunate. I can tell because of people giving money to the people in the salvation army. People will say have a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to someone who helped them out of kindness. I think Americans as a whole are very helpful people but to me at least they seem to be more helpful because it’s a season of giving and a tradition to celebrate for many people. However I will acknowledge that it can be stressful for all of us but when Christmas day actually comes I think everyone’s stress goes away a bit because they are with the ones they love and showing how they care. I kind of appreciate how one can get stressed out looking for presents or making a family dinner because they wouldn’t do that if they didn’t care about the ones they love. Those are the reasons I love the Christmas season and Christmas day.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”– Helen Keller
Cooperation builds communication skills, boosts self-confidence and teaches us to work together as a team. At SEEDs for Autism, we understand that learning to cooperate with others is an important skill that promotes higher achievement and cultivates positive relationships in all areas of life. We asked SEEDs participants to share their thoughts on this important topic.
When you decide to cooperate with another person on a big project, you two are helping each other with putting the finishing touches on that same project. Whenever you see someone in need of getting the job done, you help that someone finish up whatever task they were given. When you are finished with helping that someone with some task, that would make you supportive.
Sometimes it’s not enough to do something on your own. Maybe it takes more than one person. Maybe you’re stuck in a tight situation and need help. Sometimes the problem can be solved before it even happens. These are only some of the many reasons why cooperation is important in a working environment. It may not always be easy, but it’s worth putting in the effort to get the job done faster and in much better quality. The more times people cooperate, the more they will trust, understand, and rely on each other for help.
It is important for you to cooperate because when you work together it makes it easier, and not only that, the project can be done a lot faster. When nobody cooperates, it makes the task a lot harder than it needs to be.
Cooperation is very important because humans are social animals. Without cooperation things like society, languages, and basically everything that makes up our daily lives would not have been created. Some people like to brag about how they never needed help from anyone or say it’s “every man for himself”, but that is never true. They were raised by people who cared for them when they were young, went to schools taught by people who were in turn taught by other people, they eat food bought from stores which were bought from farms, the very concept of buying something came from our society’s decision to place a specific value on pieces of otherwise useless paper. Everyday we cover the weak points of other humans while they help us cover ours, in large ways like with doctors treating patients to small ways like helping someone carry a heavy object. While you do not have to cooperate with everyone, to refuse to ever cooperate is to devalue all the effort put forth by other humans both currently living and in the past.
Developing Life Skills is exceedingly important for young adults on the autism spectrum. Whether it’s preparing our own food, practicing good hygiene or advocating for ourselves – all these practices contribute greatly to our quality of life and sense of independence. At SEEDs for Autism we empower our participants to step outside of their comfort zones and become more self-reliant. Many of our participants have started using public transportation to get to and from SEEDs and inspirational stories like Daniel’s encourage others to take this important step toward independence.
Hello my name is Daniel N. and I’m going to be writing about my experience taking Dial-A-Ride. Dial-A-Ride has provided me with a sense of independence. The first time I took Dial-A-Ride I had moderate anxiety because I did not know what to expect from them. They have a half hour window until they have to arrive. When they arrive I present my DAR card to the driver and he / she drops me off at Seeds. They are required to sign me in for safety reasons because when I sign in my boss knows I arrived at my destination safely. The bus is usually a van but sometimes they get overloaded with requests. If they are overloaded they will send a taxi as a backup for the main bus, that way I can still get to my destination on time. I would recommend Dial- A-Ride to anybody who needs it.
Developing social skills is an important area of focus at SEEDs for Autism and we incorporate practicing these skills into every aspect of our program. Creating power point presentations is a creative way for our participants to build confidence, improve communication skills and inspire others. In this presentation, Hunter speaks to a roomful of his peers on the topic of “Manners”.