The Media Lab at SEEDs for Autism

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. 

Scott (instructor) provides insight on the art of film-making

JAKE M.
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.

The grand opening of our Media Lab!
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Why is it important to Cooperate?

“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.

CHRIS M.
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.

MATTHEW
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.

BRIANNA
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.

SAM
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.

My Experience Taking Dial-A-Ride

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.

https://www.valleymetro.org/dial-ride

Gardening Aprons at SEEDs for Autism

GARDENING APRONS!

The Arizona summer is coming to an end and that means it’s time to start planting! To celebrate the start of gardening season, we have selected our beautifully made GARDENING APRONS as our featured product for the month. Sturdy construction with reinforced seams, these practical and stylish aprons have deep pockets for carrying gloves, garden tools and for keeping your phone handy while you work. The short style of our gardening aprons allows for lots of bending and crouching as you pull weeds, plant seeds and create a beautiful display of plants, vegetables or flowers. These hand-crafted aprons are available online and make a perfect gift for the gardener in your life!

SPECIAL ONLINE OFFER
In honor of planting time, we are offering a special discount on our gardening aprons. Just enter the code SEP18 when you make your purchase online and receive $5 off these delightful gardening aprons made with love by the participants at SEEDs for Autism!

Click HERE to start shopping today!


Be sure to visit Summerwinds Nursery for plant purchases, expert gardening advice and many other garden related products and services!

Making Stuffed Animals at SEEDs for Autism

Sewing teaches calmness, discipline and patience. It improves hand eye coordination, inspires creativity and cultivates emotional well being. At SEEDs for Autism, sewing helps our participants strengthen their ability to remain focused – a highly valued skill which opens the door to employment opportunities which require attention to detail and the ability to stay on task. 

ABOUT THE SEWING DEPARTMENT
by Camille 

Hello my name is Camille and I am going to tell you about the Sewing department at SEEDs. We use a lot of materials such as thread, fabrics, and polyester fiber stuffing. We use tools like sewing machines, needles, pins, scissors, and measuring tape.

At SEEDS, sewing helps make me focused so I don’t make mistakes. But sometimes, the flat iron can get loud and distracting so I use my coping skills, and remain on task. The instructor teaches me safety skills on the flat iron so I don’t get hurt. It is important to work slowly and to not touch a hot surface and to respect the equipment. We make many beautiful products in the sewing department like  produce bags, aprons, and hand-sewn pouches.

At SEEDs, we also make stuffed animals. I like making stuffed toys because they are so cute, soft, and they make me happy.

This is how we make stuffed animals:

  1. Design the animal by drawing the animal on paper.
  2. Cut out the shape so you have 2 pieces of fabric.
  3. Sew the 2 pieces together, use sewing machine, but leave a little space to put in the stuffing.
  4. Put the stuffing into the plush toy.
  5. Sew the hole closed by hand.

Children cuddle them and we sell them to raise money for SEEDS.

The dinosaurs are my favorite.

In conclusion, I like working in the sewing department because it makes me feel positive and productive.

Jewelry-Making Workshop with Gloria and Justin

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!

Intro to Jewelry Making: Mixed Metal Earrings

The Intro to Jewelry Making class on Saturday was a great success! By providing step-by-step instructions and live demonstrations, Gloria (instructor) and Justin M. taught workshop attendees how to create a beautiful pair of mixed metal earrings!

Workshop attendees pay close attention as Justin and Gloria work together to demonstrate each step

Justin SHINES as Gloria’s star pupil in the Jewelry department at SEEDs. Due to his high quality work, attention to detail and delicate touch, Justin is the only participant entrusted to work with more expensive materials such as silver. This workshop at SEEDs for Autism gave Justin the opportunity to take a leadership role and share his talents and skills with the community!

Justin provides one on one instruction

 

Justin demonstrates how to use the drill

 

Justin supervises while his student drills

SCENES FROM THE EVENT

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If you would like to learn more about this life-changing program please visit our website

seedsforautism.org

Featured Artist: Interview with Camille

Animals and Rainbows by Camille
“The drawing is really cool because it’s vibrant, creative, and cute.”  Brianna

Developing social skills is an important area of focus at SEEDs for Autism. One of the creative, yet practical ways we practice these skills is by conducting interviews. Participants make eye contact, utilize active listening and focus on the speaker to gain information. Brianna put these skills into ACTION by interviewing one of her peers about her love of drawing.

INTERVIEW WITH CAMILLE:

Question: What are your favorite things to draw?
Answer: Nature, landscapes, travels, and animals.
Question: How long have you been drawing?
Answer: I started when I was little.
Question: How did you learn to draw so well?
Answer: By looking at pictures, illustrations, cartoons and different shapes or something to get ideas.
Question: Why do you like drawing?
Answer: Because it’s fun, relaxing, it makes me happy, and it’s my hobby!

Interviewer: Brianna

Self Portrait by Camille
“I like this drawing because it’s pretty abstract.” Brianna