The Importance of Self-Control

Managing our own behavior in social situations is an essential life skill that enables us to achieve goals, maintain employment and build relationships. At SEEDs, we understand that self-management can be especially difficult for those on the autism spectrum. Through role play, group exercises and engaging curriculum, our program empowers students to navigate through life’s experiences with mindfulness, personal responsibility and confidence. We asked our participants share their success stories of maintaining self-control.

SKYLER
Self-control is the ability to control yourself, in particular your emotions and desires or the expression of them in your behavior, especially in difficult situations. Research has shown that people with strong self-control have better health, relationships, finances, and careers as well as they’re also less likely to have problems with overeating, overspending, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, procrastination, and unethical behavior. An example of self control is when you want the last cookie but you use your willpower to avoid eating it because you know it isn’t good for you. The ability to control one’s desires and impulses; willpower. 

ANGEL
Self control is to control yourself, like emotions. For me, I control my behavior: taking deep breaths and clearing my mind.

VICTOR
Self-control is important because it is used to stay calm and relax. I stay calm when I am listening to music, reading a book, watching Netflix, and YouTube. It makes me feel happy

DANIEL W
Self-control is the action of controlling your actions. I demonstrate self-control whenever I buy something and have to wait for it to arrive. It eventually arrives and I feel glad I’ve waited.

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!

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 websiteThank you!

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!

What is Your Definition of Success?

Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.
Robert Collier

Achieving success provides a great sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and well-being.  At SEEDs for Autism, we recognize that even the smallest step in the right direction is PROGRESS and every small success helps develop the confidence needed to take on larger tasks, and achieve bigger goals. In this article, we asked SEEDs participants to reflect on their lives and share their personal definition of success. 

FRANCIS
My definition of success is doing your best. One thing I was successful at was doing my homework in my college classes. It made feel me feel very good.

JUSTIN M
My definition of success is finding a Job. I will be successful when I graduate from college. I was successful at making earrings. It made me feel good. I can help others by teaching them how to make their own earrings.

CHRIS M.
What is the definition of success? Oh boy, that’s a pretty hard question to try and answer. Well, when I think of success, I would think it’s a difficult goal to get to, but it’s not impossible to achieve if you work hard enough. Take celebrities, for example. They had to start somewhere like we do. We all have various backgrounds, but we’ll get to the top of our goals when we try our best.
My personal goal back in my school years was to graduate. It was a pretty tough road to get to where I am now, but I finally graduated in the summer of 2010. If I can do it, you can do it.
Here is my advice for those trying to be successful. If you find yourself having problems achieving your personal goals, just ask your friends and family to help you out of these problems and, eventually, you’ll succeed. It’ll make you feel relieved after all that hard work. Remember, it can be difficult, but not impossible.

SONJA
My definition of success is achieving something you never thought you could do and going out into the world to do it. You feel good about your life and where it’s going. I was playing my video game and there was a tough boss and after a few tries I did it. It made me feel great to do it. Never give up and if there are set backs it’s okay.

SYDNEY L.
My definition of success is working hard to get the job done. I feel successful when I’ve finished the task I was given. I was successful at relearning how to ride a bike. The first time, I was given a bike that was too big for me and I had a hard time controlling it and I ended up crashing into a wall. But I didn’t give up and kept going. The next time I rode a bike, it was a lot easier to do because the bike was smaller and easier to use. I was just so excited to refresh my bike riding skills. My advice is don’t give up, keep going and you will be successful at your job, like I was at riding a bike.

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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!

Doing the Right Thing Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy – in fact, sometimes it’s real hard – but just remember doing the right thing is always right. – David Cotrell

Part of life is doing the things that are necessary, although they may not be what we want to do. At SEEDs for Autism, our participants learn to be flexible, cooperative and to be team players as they perform tasks that may not be their favorite. Our unique program provides adults on the autism spectrum valuable life skills and coping skills that will enable them to adapt to situations at home, at work or out in community.

SYDNEY K
A few of the things I should be doing are: Staying active and healthy, being independent and having a job. It is important for me to do these things anyway because I would feel accomplished and will have been successful with my goals. 

KERI
It’s hard to workout and eat healthy. But it’s important so you don’t get diseases,  stay healthy and be a better person.

VICTOR
I don’t like cleaning dog poop because it will be very stinky but I’m responsible for keeping the backyard clean and I can handle it.

MIKE H
Things I don’t like to do but I do them anyway:

1. Balance my check book
2. Clean my bathroom
3. Make my bed
4. Shopping for sandals

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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!

Learning From Mistakes

Don’t carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones. 

We all make mistakes, but in every mistake there is an opportunity to learn. At SEEDs for Autism, we work with our participants to develop problem solving skills to understand what went wrong, and to find ways to prevent it from happening again. We asked SEEDs participants to share their thoughts on how mistakes make us GROW.

CHRIS M.
Can Mistakes Help You Grow?
Let’s face it, almost NO ONE wants to make mistakes one time too many. It can be overwhelming for someone to keep going. Should they just give up on what they’re going for? Real answer: NO. Here are some reasons why you should never give up on your dreams and goals, even when you make some mistakes along the way.
I’ve had some moments when I, too, get overwhelmed by making mistakes on my projects. At times, I’d grow more impatient and want to quit. But over the years, I’ve learned to take a break every now and then to calm down. I’d even regenerate my idea engine as I take some time to relax. When I’m done with my alone time, I would eventually go back to whatever my project is. That would be how I’d grow: to take some alone time to relax and regenerate.
Whenever I take a breather, I would listen to music that I enjoy to blot out the outside noises that make me feel negative. This would be my advice for those who make mistakes and get overwhelmed by them.
Also, mistakes can help you get better at what you do best if you keep practicing and studying that particular subject you want to work on. Remember, never give up! You can do it.

SONJA
It’s important to keep trying when we make a mistake because if you don’t keep trying you won’t know what it feels like to achieve the goal. Mistakes can help you grow because you do what you can do to improve next time. I learned from a mistake when I broke something in the kitchen and I felt bad. I told my family, said sorry, and helped clean up the mess. It was good nobody was hurt and it made me feel good to tell them what I did.

JUSTIN M.
When you make a mistake try again until you succeed.
My advice is never think ahead of yourself.
I will think before I do it. It makes me feel happy.

SYDNEY L.
You’ll learn from your mistakes and do better next time. Mistakes teach us to do better and learn new skills. I made a mistake by going camping and not bringing water. Also, at the first camping trip, I threw up because I ate twice the amount of food I should have. The second time I made sure to bring a water bottle and cut down on the food.

ANNA
Mistakes make you grow because a mistake is something you did wrong and if it was your mistake, you can learn why it was wrong and grow from it. An example of a mistake helping me grow is when once I escalated a situation when I had an argument with my Dad. I was angry even after my Dad had apologized, but the argument went on because I was silent, refusing to forgive him. This caused the argument to go on longer. I learned from this mistake that if it was something small, like it was in this case, I should have accepted the apology. Because now I know that I made the argument longer. Now if a petty argument happens, as it happens in life, when things get stressed, I know just to accept and apologize and I feel more of an adult when doing so.

DANIEL N.
Hello, I’m Daniel and today I’m going to be talking about my experience at United Parcel Service. I got timed out by the sign out pad for failure to sign fast enough for the pad to accept my signature. Now I sign for packages faster and the machine accepts my signature for packages when I’m required to sign them out of the pickup location. I ask the staff to check the mail for picking up at the store. The result is I learned and now the process goes more smoothly. I feel confident.

CHARLEY
Why is it important to keep trying when we make a mistake?
It is important to keep trying when we make a mistake so that we can learn to do better & do it right. By learning from our past mistakes, we in fact become wiser and more successful in the future. A couple of days ago, I forgot to fill the dog’s water bowl when I fed him his dinner. The result was the dog was very thirsty because his water bowl was empty. That made me feel bad. In the future, I will try to be sure to fill his water bowl when I feed him. Then he’ll be sure to stay hydrated.

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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!

SPORTS WORKSHOP at SEEDs for Autism Hosted by Jake M

A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.
Joe DiMaggio

Communication skills, flexibility, organization, and the ability to inspire and motivate others are just some of the qualities of being a great leader. At SEEDs for Autism we work to develop these skills in our participants, and encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone with confidence. Jake has demonstrated great leadership abilities, and we were excited to provide him with an opportunity to lead a workshop and share his knowledge and love of sports with his peers. We asked Jake to share his thoughts on his experience.

JAKE M.
Hi my name is Jake. I’m writing to talk about a sports workshop that I taught. During the covid-19 pandemic, Seeds has been doing online learning with lessons and zooms with teachers. There also have been different extracurricular zooms. Some of those include movie club, Disney parks club, writing, and others. These are all teacher led. Now Seeds is looking to have student led workshops, and I got to do a sports workshop, which was great because I love sports.

Before I presented the sports workshop in front of my peers, I had to take various steps to prepare. These steps include picking a topic, doing research, finding fun videos, making a slideshow, and doing a practice run with the staff. I also had to make sure I picked questions to get student engagement.

In order to come up with a topic, I sat down and brainstormed ideas and wrote those ideas on a notepad. I picked the best topic and began researching it. I went online to find links and videos to provide information on the chosen topic. The topic I picked was amazing sports plays.

Once I finished my research, I inserted that information into a slideshow using google slides. I had to organize the information in a way that would make sense when explaining to the class. I also had to find fun videos to watch. Part of the assignment for this workshop required me to come up with questions so that the students can be involved.

Once I finished making the slideshow and was ready to present, I did a dry run with the staff members. This helped me receive great feedback, and gave me more confidence before presenting.

The day of the sports workshop was great because I was ready to present. The group was small. I think the workshop was a success because all of the students were very engaged and answering the questions. Some of the students had questions for me to answer, which was good because that means it was a give and take workshop and the students wanted to learn more about sports. It was a success.

This workshop allowed me to share my interest and was good for practicing my presentation skills.

An informative slide from Jake’s presentation

Jake shares video footage of amazing plays with workshop attendees

DANNY (Social Skills Instructor at SEEDs)
As an instructor the best moments are when the students exceed expectations set by others and demonstrate their ability to overcome the fears and uncertainty of self-growth and mastery. Jake, a model example of hard-work and flexibility, did an exemplary job with creating and leading the sports workshop. He took the feedback from other staff and incorporated his own ideas into an engaging and informative lesson about various historical moments. Although I knew he was nervous, it wasn’t obvious. He asked great questions to the other students, made an effort to engage EVERYONE who attended and utilized all of the skills he has learned over the years. To say that I am proud of Jake would be an understatement. Many educators struggle with connecting to students and allowing their passion of a subject to shine through but Jake seemed to have a natural ‘feel’ of the qualities. While the workshop was fairly small due to there being other options at the same time each student shared appreciation for his work and lesson. I’m excited to hear what his next workshop will be about and can’t WAIT to attend!

Image from Jake’s Daily Sports Report: from left to right: Luke Weaver (starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks), Jake M. (winning the Employee of the Month for the 50/50 raffle staff), Derrick Hall (President and CEO for the Arizona Diamondbacks).
Jake’s Daily Sports Report

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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!

What Does It Mean to Be an Adult?

Becoming an adult does not happen automatically when we reach the age of 18 – it means so much more than that! At SEEDs for Autism, we help participants transition into adulthood by learning the importance of responsibility, self-control, autonomy and maturity. We asked SEEDs participants to think about what it means to be an adult and share how they demonstrate these qualities. 

JAKE M.
One characteristic of being an adult is loyalty. Being loyal means showing support for the people in your life. This could mean pitching in to support your family, or fulfilling your duties in marriage. Being loyal to your boss and company is also important. Being loyal to yourself is the hardest one, and the most important, because it means you are staying true to your values and convictions.

CHRIS M.
There are certain things in life that I have to do that I don’t like, including being a grownup in a lot of situations. Most of the time, I want to get angry and react poorly, but now I’m starting to realize being angry can make the situation worse. So, how should I act better in a situation like someone making loud noises when they’re upset or something?

If there’s a situation that I don’t like, I’d rather let someone know that I need a break for a while and then I’ll find a quiet place to relax. After a few minutes, I would go back to what I’m doing once the situation has calmed down.

SYDNEY K.
When I was a child I never did things right away when someone would ask me to do them. Now as an adult I actually try to do them right away but it is still a work in progress. Other qualities of being an adult that I have been working on is advocating for myself. I used to be a really shy person but as I got older my sister started helping me learn how to advocate for myself. Being an adult doesn’t always mean that you have to be perfect all the time. Adults can have fun and still be a work in progress.

JUSTIN M.
I am an adult when I look out for others.

DEVONT’E
There are many characteristics that make up being an adult, such as maturity, responsibility, patience, compromising, and thinking before you speak just to name a few. A person who exhibits these qualities are considered adults because they make up the basic structure of what a person needs to be self-sufficient. For example, having responsibility allows a person to know when and why they need to clean up after not only themselves, but also after those who are not adults yet, and thus unable to do it themselves. Having patience allows one to put their own needs on hold for the needs of others. Being able to compromise means that they’re able to outright give up their own needs for the sake of others. Thinking before you speak allows them to act calmly and make rational decisions.

The way that I demonstrate adulthood is by thinking before I speak. Whenever I’m angry or upset about something, I always stop myself before saying something and think about whether it’s a good idea or not. If it’s something that would be rude or insensitive then I either don’t say anything at all or find a way to say what I want to in a more polite manner.

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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!

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

RowOfHouses-1.png

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!