Sharing Our Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Moms are always there for us, guiding us, supporting us, comforting us and loving us unconditionally! For Mother’s Day, we asked SEEDs participants to reflect on their lives and share with our audience what makes their Mom so special! Here are the wonderful results.

RYAN M
My mom is special because she does so much for me. I love my mom because she is awesome. My mom helps me gel my hair. We celebrate Mother’s Day by going shopping. I love my mom because she is fun to hang out with. 

KERI
I think Mother’s Day is a good holiday because you can go out to eat. I will buy my Mom a gift this year. I have to ask her to see what she wants. Mom is special because she takes me places. I also think she’s special by being kind to the family. I love my mom because she is special and kind, and courteous to others. She helps me by taking me to doctor’s appointments. We celebrate Mother’s Day by taking her out for lunch or dinner. I love my mom.

ISAIAH
I help my mom with groceries and stuff. What I like about my mom is she raised me with my stepfather too. We celebrate Mother’s Day at my house or my brother’s house or a restaurant.

VICTOR
Mom is so sweet and happy. I love mom for making eggs and tortillas. My mom helps me watering plants. We celebrate Mother’s Day with cyan and blue hearts. I love my mom because she soo funny and sweet and nice.

MARK
Hello my name is Mark. I want to write about my mom. She is nice to me and she helps me to understand things. She helps me with my goals like learning to get my driver’s license.

RYAN D
My mom is special because she loves me. I love it when my mom gives me stuff and takes me to places I want. She helps me with my acting and singing for plays. We go to dinner for Mother’s Day. I love my mom because she’s a really good cook and she makes delicious food.

ALEX V
Mom helps me with driving. I like my Mom’s Cooking. My mom’s best cooking is Spaghetti and meatballs, Lasagna, steak and mashed potatoes, corn on a cob and Hamburger Helper. And she takes me on vacation and takes me to Disneyland and Disneyworld. She takes me to the movies and to all the amusement parks and she gives me birthday presents and Christmas presents.

DANIEL N
Hello my name is Daniel and I’m going to be writing about my mom. She is very special because she helps me weed at Luna Azul. She also schedules rides for me and does pickup times calling Dial A Ride. They have a list of times available on the website. Sometimes 3:00 is not on the website. She has me booked for 1:00 on Friday for yoga with Regan, my instructor. My mom makes curried veggies with meat from the grocery store. I love my mom  because she supported my decision to put Queenie down. I did not want her to suffer. 

ANGEL
One way that I celebrate on Mother’s Day is that I find a gift for her like a notebook to write in and a bracelet. Also to have dinner together.

DRESDEN
I am supported by my mother in ways that far surpass the value of any material possession. She provided me with all the necessary tools needed for critical thinking and understanding other people’s perspectives. These tools have proven to be valuable assets to becoming an independent adult. She’s a very creative person, and though I did not necessarily inherit those genes, my mother’s imprinting shows how I am able to be so dynamic in spite of being on the Spectrum. My mother helps me remain on track with my life’s goals, provides nourishment, and even if I didn’t need as much support from her, she will always be there for me when I’m at a low point. My family and I have a meal together at my Grandmother’s house and exchange gifts. Though I’m still getting used to figuring out what people like, I eagerly anticipate seeing their reactions to receiving my presents – though albeit, with a bit of underlying anxiety. Nevertheless, they always appreciate the kind gesture and return the favor in earnest. I love my mom because she never gives up on me,

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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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!

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!

Talia’s New job

Developing job skills is a vital part of our program at SEEDs for Autism. Our dedicated staff work closely with our participants to help them create resumes, fill out job applications and prepare for interviews through a series of role plays. These talented individuals are capable, employable and excited to become a valued part of the work force!
Please join us in congratulating Talia on her new job at The Mellow Mushroom!

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!

The Importance of Asking for Help

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
but small ones surround us every day.”
– Sally Koch

Through our online classes and in-person program, SEEDs participants continue to improve their communication skills, build self-confidence, advocate for themselves and learn to ask for help when needed. These vital life skills empower those on the autism spectrum to navigate through the various situations that life brings while utilizing the support of family, friends, co-workers and instructors. In this exercise, students were asked to share their thoughts and experiences on the importance of asking for help.

SONJA
Asking for help is important because if you don’t then you can’t solve the problem at hand.
I had to ask for help when I broke something and we were able to clean it up in no time. I felt great after the problem was solved. It always feels good to solve a problem with the help of my family. Asking for help can sometimes be hard but with a little courage you can do it and make yourself better for it.

CHARLEY
It is important to ask for help because not only does it get the job done faster, but it also prevents you from ultimately receiving/experiencing high doses of aggravation/stress/anger.
I asked my mom to check on Amazon’s progress in delivering My Kingdom Hearts: Original Soundtrack. She told me that my soundtrack was due to arrive on that day between 9AM-11AM. The fact that it arrived on time per my mom’s help in checking on Amazon’s delivery progress ultimately made me really happy!

JUSTIN M
It is important to ask for help when you are stuck on doing something. I ask Mom to help me on my school homework. It makes me feel confident.

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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!

Think Before You Speak

Being cooped up at home for extended periods of time can often be challenging. Tempers can be short and it is extra important to exercise self control with our words and our actions. One of the things we teach at SEEDs is “filtering” our thoughts before we speak them out loud. In this article, we asked SEEDs participants to share their thoughts on why it is important to THINK before we SPEAK. 

SONJA
It is important to think before you speak because when you say a thought out loud that you don’t want the other person to hear, it will hurt feelings. Also it’s best to keep bad thoughts we have about others to ourselves; let’s be kind to one another. When I was over at a friend’s house spending the night we were having fun chilling. When her family and I sat together for dinner they started asking questions about certain topics I have thoughts on but I decided to keep them to myself. Because we were having fun, I didn’t want the situation to get weird so I gave a vague polite answer then moved on to something else. This was for the best. I think we should remind ourselves daily to think before we speak.

ANNA
I have many examples of where I had to think before speaking at work. One of the co-workers I work with makes me angry because she wants me to bag groceries her way. Often I get angry at this and think about saying something rude to her because of my anger. I never say anything rude to my co-worker because that will lead to a confrontation, which would not be good because it could lead to loss of job or working with a coworker who has a grudge. What I do instead is just tell her I’m doing the best I can do and say I will do the groceries her way. My co-worker still complains but doing the best I can do is all that matters.

CHRIS M.
All my early life, I mostly spoke my thoughts instead of keeping them in my head when I’m supposed to. It can be really difficult to keep your thoughts to yourself, not just myself. 

I guess people don’t realize it’s more important to keep your thoughts to yourself or you will make others feel bad about themselves and not want to be your friend anymore. Swearing included whenever you’re dealing with kids.

I dare you to give this importance a thought and try to do better with it.

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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!

How Has Coming to SEEDs Improved Your Life?

Every day at SEEDs for Autism, we see personal development, self-confidence and skill building as our participants step out of their comfort zones and GROW! We celebrate the progress as these talented adults on the autism spectrum learn to embrace new experiences, gain confidence, find meaningful employment, achieve independence and cultivate friendships with their peers. One of the best ways to measure this growth is to ask our participants directly: How has coming to SEEDs improved your life?

EMMA
Before I started working at Sprouts, I’d been going to SEEDs for Autism for seven years. SEEDs taught me how to find a job, how to apply for jobs, how to make resumes, being flexible, making new friends, staying on task and other things. Two months ago, I applied for a job at Sprouts and I got an interview a week later. After the interview they hired me right away and I started my first day at Sprouts on February 5. I love it so far because everyone is so nice and friendly. My co-workers are also nice, friendly and fun to chat with. This Thursday will be my one month anniversary at Sprouts. I’m so proud of myself that I found a job and still come to SEEDs. My position at Sprouts is a Courtesy Clerk, which is bagging, collecting carts, keeping the store and the bathrooms clean and helping people load their groceries in their car. 

BRIANNA
SEEDs has helped me improve my social skills, and learn new things as well!

JESSE
Seeds has helped me learn skills to deal with stressful events in my life. Also when I feel stressed out or upset, projects at SEEDs help take my mind off what happened.

  Talia, Ryan M., Isaiah and Kyle build social skills as they cultivate friendships!

RYAN M.
I have friends and Seeds makes me happy.

MATTHEW N.
My parents want me to be independent and make my own money when I get a job to take care of my family when they grow old. The reason I came to Seeds was to find the right place where people can understand me when I’m feeling stressed and also I would like to have someone help me with my job when I’m having trouble with my tasks and skills.
Seeds is a better place than any other job training I tried before since I had a very difficult time doing my job right and I got yelled at a lot of times for not listening carefully for instructions. With Seeds, my instructors are nice to me and I learn new things at each department I go to on the schedule that Ms. Mary Ann makes.
I like the teamwork at Seeds because I like to get along with others and make things together while learning new things. Whenever I’m feeling stress I will let my instructors know I need to calm down and go to a quiet place to pull myself together. 

 Jesse demonstrates focus as he works on a project in the Sewing Department.

TALIA
Seeds makes my life better. My friends make me happy. I learn about making goat milk soap and I learn about sewing. Seeds make me happy.

MICHAEL I
During my stint at Seeds, I have reunited with some longtime friends from my elementary and high school days while also making some new friends. Before my stint, woodturning was the area where I did not have experience, but over time, I have learned firsthand from the instructor, Ed. Also, in Newsletter, I have seen poetry created by fellow participants, which inspired me to create my own poem below as an example. The poem I wrote is what I think represents love in the five senses from my perspective.

Love looks like a boy and a girl holding hands
Love sounds like ocean waves
Love tastes like chocolate cake
Love smells like vanilla coconut bath soap
Love feels like a girl kissing me on my cheek

Friendships GROW at Seeds for Autism!

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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!