autism

SEEDs for Autism and the People Who Inspire Us

As the Newsletter editor and instructor at SEEDs for Autism, I always encourage my students to share their stories. Expressing themselves through writing has been an empowering experience for these talented adults on the autism spectrum. It helps them understand that their thoughts and opinions matter, they have insights and wisdom worth sharing and that their experiences can help inspire others.

THE PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE US

Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do.

Inspirational people help us believe in ourselves and motivate us to strive for excellence. These rare individuals make us want to reach further, do great things and take ACTION! Although there are many inspiring personalities in movies and television, it is the ones we encounter in our own lives that make the greatest impact. We asked SEEDs participants to tell us about the inspirational people in their lives. 

JOSE
My mom, as cliche as it is, is the person who most inspires me. She is the sweetest, coolest and most creative person in my life. She has the ability to listen despite how hard she works. I feel alone when I’m away from her and she is always there for me when I have to do things that are hard. She prays for me and she listens to my problems. I am happy when she has my back, in the toughest of times. Sometimes, when she is away, I have to learn how to be a grown man. It is hard. She taught me a lesson early on that I’m a special important person and I’m there to help people so that’s why I have to be a grown up even when she is far away. A lot of times she will tell me things that are hard to hear but she only says it out of love. My mom has the best way of expressing her love. She will have little sayings like, “Hike up your britches”, “I have a hug in my arms”, or “I am in awe of you, Jose” that’s a special way she lets me know I’m her good son, whom she loves.

I look at the strange days that have passed me sometime ago. There were always these moments when I couldn’t lift my head up but mom would not let me give up!  And the hard days were there because I was supposed to power through them. At the end of the day, I remember having a good feeling because my mom and I got through our day together. My Mom inspires my creativity, positivity and hard work. My family is important to me and my mother really inspires me because she is the person I most admire.

ANNA
My dad inspires me because he is in a wheelchair but he doesn’t let that make him not go to work. He is probably the hardest worker I know. He often gets no sleep but goes to work any way. And will often help me in any way he can even when he is tired.

JAKE M.
I am writing about someone who inspired me in my life. That person is Officer Franklin Marino. Officer Marino was an adult member of Boy Scout Troop 30. When I was younger and got into trouble with my peers in Troop 30, Officer Marino was there to pull me aside and talk. I didn’t always appreciate it at the time but as I got older I started to understand his methods. Some of the things he instilled in me were to respect all my peers, parents, elders, and people of authority. Other things he taught me were skills like coping skills and when to remove myself from troubling situations and people with a toxic attitude. He also wanted me to come to him if I needed help. Finally the most important thing he told me was that I can only control my actions. Having a guy like Officer Marino in my life was crucial in my development as a person.

SEEDs for Autism and a Place to Grow

I work with young adults on the autism spectrum.

In other words, my days are spent with some of the most

fascinating, honest and creative individuals

I have ever known.

I am there to lift them up..

and encourage them to grow.

I am also their writing instructor.

In addition to a monthly newsletter,

my students create the content for their own blog

where they can share all their unique interests

and experiences with the world.

I am glad to be a part of it.

SEEDs for Autism is a vocational training program that teaches young adults on the autism spectrum a multitude of job skills focused on the arts. For more information about this life-changing program,  please visit SEEDs for Autism.

Terrifying Visions and the Art of Trusting the Gift

“The Ghost and My Obsession” by Michele Bledsoe

Several years ago I was sitting at my desk

in my high-level corporate job

and I had a terrifying vision.

I imagined myself far in the future

sitting at the same desk..

doing exactly the same thing

and wondering to myself

what life would have been like

if I had decided to pursue my art instead.

Not long after that, I quit my job..

and let my path take me to where I was meant to be

instead of where I thought I should go.

In life, as in art

we must be fearless.

Trust the gift.

 

Sowing Seeds and the Art of Sharing Knowledge

collage1

“The Church of Instinct”, “As Above So Below” and “From the Old House” by Michele Bledsoe

 

First and foremost, I am a painter..

but I am other things as well.

 

I have learned a lot

throughout the course of my life..

cultivating valuable skills

that I have worked hard to accumulate.

Through trial and error

I have gained experience..

And with years of practice

I’ve learned to do things

that I used to think were

miles beyond my capabilities.

 

I suppose I could hold a series of costly workshops

on a number of  topics..

everything from social media marketing

to formatting and publishing ebooks.

 

Or maybe I could hoard my knowledge

and use these skills for myself alone.

 

Instead,

I went in a different direction..

choosing to focus more on

what good can I do through sharing my various gifts

rather than how much money I can make

selling them.

 

So now I spend my days

working with young adults within the autism spectrum..

teaching them

everything I’ve learned.

 

Maybe that’s not the path

to making myself a ton of money..

but by sowing these seeds

and watching my students grow

I am already rich beyond measure.