When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.
-William Arthur Ward
The people we admire inspire us to believe in ourselves, to reach further and strive to be our best. We asked SEEDs participants to write about the people they look up to and identify the qualities they have in common.
SYDNEY The person I admire is Lady Godiva because she didn’t hesitate to challenge unfair taxes in the eleventh century and she did it by riding naked on a horse. We both like to challenge ourselves to be courageous and to not take no for an answer.
CAMILLE I admire my friends Jesse and Nathan, because they have the same interests as me and play video games. They are so kind and friendly, and that’s how I am too.
JAKE M. One of my favorite athletes of all time is Roger Federer. He is the most successful male tennis player of all time. His character is exemplary on and off the court. He is a hard worker and leaves everything on the court regardless of the final result. He also has his own charity called The Roger Federer Foundation.
I can relate to Roger in two ways. The first being, we both pride ourselves on giving back to the community. Like Federer, I too put 100% effort in everything I do. Athletes like Roger Federer don’t come around very often.
I admire my grandfather John Caulfield because he was brave and I am also brave.
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.
I made some earrings in jewelry at SEEDs that made me feel proud. It was very easy to do.
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.
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.
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.
Spa is my favorite department at Seeds. I’m good at making soap. It makes me feel proud.
Social Skills is my favorite department at Seeds. I’m good at listening. I’m good at communicating. It makes me feel proud.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My sense of humor is a unique quality that I have and it feels good when I can spread that humor to other individuals.
I’m good at singing. It makes me feel special.
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.
I have good skills of drawing, acting, singing, and dancing.
I have a really wild imagination when it comes to writing stories.
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.
Thanks to a generous grant from Thunderbird Charities, our Media Lab is the latest addition to the curriculum at SEEDs for Autism. This exciting department focuses on developing and practicing social skills through the use of technology and new media formats such as video production, animation and computer arts. Staying current with new innovations in communication and information, participants will utilize computers, cameras and video to share their stories, connect with others and document all the exciting things happening at SEEDs for Autism.
Doing something new can be frightening. In some cases though, doing new things can be awesome if it pertains to something you’re passionate about. Seeds for Autism has added a new department called the Media Lab. Students like me get to learn about framing shots and how to operate video cameras. We also get to learn how to setup stories. I’ve always been a big movie fan. However, the purpose of the Seeds media lab is to record videos promoting Seeds products. I’m good with promoting Seeds. I feel the media lab will be great for me because it allows me to pursue my interest in video and production and it will allow me the opportunity to make more people aware about Seeds and what we do.