Struggling With Something New: What did you do to improve?

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. 

DANIEL N.
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.

NATHAN B
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.

MICHAEL S
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.

ISAIAH
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.

Comics, Cartoons and Stop-Motion Animation

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.

CHRIS M.
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.

JEFF
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.

 

 

JOEL
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.

SONJA
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.

Painting/Block-Printing Workshop at SEEDS for Autism

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.

CAMILLE 
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.

JAKE M. 
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.

SONJA
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.

CHRIS M.
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!

Emotion Poetry at SEEDs for Autism

Writing poetry encourages creativity and self-expression. Poetry stirs the imagination and it is an excellent practice for strengthening writings skills, cultivating a strong vocabulary and learning to think outside the box. In this post, the participants at SEEDs for Autism use poetry to describe emotions through the window of their senses. 

Aloha Day at Seeds for Autism

SEEDs for Autism is happy to provide organized recreational activities to empower those on the autism spectrum to explore their creativity, share new experiences, connect with others and GROW! At ALOHA DAYS, friends and family came together as a community to celebrate summer, learn about Hawaiian culture and have FUN! We asked some of our participants to share their experiences from this joyful and educational event.

CHRIS M
I went to Aloha Days at SEEDS with my parents. I spent my morning time playing “Topple” with Jeffery. I enjoyed playing, even though I was new to the game. Then my Mom convinced me to take part in one of the hula dances. I did try out the dance moves to make her proud. Then we got ready for Aloha Day lunch, which included teriyaki chicken, steamed rice, and fruit donuts. Overall, I had a nice time.

SONJA
Saturday the 11th of August I went to an event at Seeds for Autism called Aloha Days where we got to learn about the Hawaiian culture and dance the hula. My favorite part was doing the hula dancing. I loved how each dance tells a story about life and love. I got to eat a delicious pineapple donut and rice topped with chicken. I enjoyed myself a lot being able to hang out with friends and learn new things I didn’t know. I can’t wait for the next event coming soon!

DANIEL CH
I had fun at Aloha Day. I played volleyball with a Beach ball. I learned how to dance the Hula. My mom came and she ate Hawaiian food. I wore a Hawaiian shirt and played games. I made a sand castle and saw my friends at Seeds.

BRIAN
What I did at Aloha Days is relax and eat food and listen to music and play games.

Featured Product: Hand Sewn Bags

The act of sewing teaches calmness, discipline and patience. It improves hand eye coordination, inspires creativity and cultivates emotional well being. A lot of love goes into every single stitch of our hand sewn bags. The high quality work found in these colorful totes is evidence of the focus, determination and skill demonstrated by the talented and dedicated participants at SEEDs for Autism. We are happy to present these colorful items as our featured product for the month of August. 

NATE
Our hand sewn bags are made in the Sewing Department. Being in the Sewing Department is a lot of fun. It can be tough at times especially for me who has issues with fine motor skills. But every time that I am in the Sewing Department I learn and try to get better at it. Our current sewing instructor’s name is Tina and she joined SEEDs about a month ago.

When you buy something from SEEDs not only are you getting a great product, but you are supporting our program as well. Our hand sewn bags are priced at 15 dollars a piece. I hope those that are reading this article will go out and buy our hand sewn bags.

GREAT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

BRIANNA
The colorful, handcrafted bags made at SEEDs make excellent reusable bags! They aren’t wasteful because the bags can be used again and again, unlike plastic bags!

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE USES FOR OUR HAND SEWN BAGS?

TALIA
You can fill it with Groceries. You can use it as a purse or a tote bag to carry books and toys. Pack your jammies and toiletries for an overnight stay.

DANIEL CH
You can carry food, drinks, a water bottle, books, video games or a small watermelon.

You can purchase our hand sewn bags online at our website, on Etsy or at our location!