Sunday, October 10, 2010

10 out of 10 results for the 10/10/2010

From the minute we all realised that the last events of Running The Marathon Of Autism campaign would be on the date 10/10/10 as well as the very same weekend that Felicity turned 10 we knew it was 'meant to be'!

Felicity had a wonderful birthday with family celebrating the milestone of being a decade old, with plenty of cake and presents and of course allot of humming the Happy Birthday song to us all!
Saturday was also the last 'rest day' for our runners Jocelyn and Maryke who were up early on Sunday morning ready for the starters gun to go off.
Maryke's Full Marathon race started at 7:00am and Jocelyn's Half Marathon began at 8:00am - Both of these amazing runners did themselves and all of us proud with phenomenal results!
They both have even claimed they "cannot wait to do it all again" - WOW!


Maryke - Full Marathon: 4hrs 24mins
Jocelyn - Half Marathon: 1hr 58mins

Maryke took 36 minutes off her last marathon time (run in 2007) so is thrilled!
Jocelyn ran 3 weeks ago in Sydney then has backed it up in Melbourne with the same time results - AWESOME!!!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU both Jocelyn and Maryke for every step of your training, motivation, support and love for Felicity!! I know my regular morning run had a little extra 'umph' in it this morning thanks to you both!

We are just tallying up any and all final donations before we work out the amount reached from all our runners efforts and will be sure to let you know as soon as we have the magic number.... if you would like to make a final donation or pass on the info and links to a family member or friend please do so by heading to:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Felicity in the media

Last week Miss Fliss once again stole the limelight - our growing celebrity had her photo snapped and Tanya was interviewed for an article that made it into Friday's (24th September) Manly Daily newspaper.
The article titled "Felicity learning to call tune" was helping to promote the Up, Up, Up, Songs For Felicity Vol 1 album that is available on iTunes, with the profits made from sales of the album going directly to Felicity.

"Tanya Costin said her little girl Felicity, 10, was a different girl since she's undergone the Son-Rise Program.
Tanya is in the throes of raising money to support a trip to the US in November, a trip to gain further study into this method for socialising children with severe autism.
"My daughter had no social skills before we started this program," she said. "But now she will look at me and say a few words. She is a different little girl."
The Scotland Island resident said she has brought, and will continue to bring, the knowledge she has gleaned from the US back to carers in Australia.
"My friend Nadia Ackerman has put together a CD which we are selling to raise money for this trip,' she said.
The album is called Songs for Felicity Volume 1.
Nadia is known to locals as a former northern beaches resident, a jazz singer, who has lived and worked amid the music industry in New York for the past decade. Tanya said the CD was a quality collection of artists and songs.
The premise of Son-Rise is based on social interaction.
"The child is the leader of the program," she said. "There is only ever one other adult in the room and we do things on her time."
"If she wants to flap her hands I will sit with her and flap my hands. Not imitating but joining her."
Tanya described her daughter as happy and beautiful. "Now she is able to follow simple instructions."
The album can be found in iTunes be searching Songs for Felicity Volume1. Information on Felicity can be found at

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sydney Running Festival results!

What a HUGE effort from all our runners on Sunday!! Go Guys!!
Sydney put on a glorious day and the city was shut down to make way for the 8488 entrants in the Half Marathon and 3169 entrants in the Full Marathon. Among them was Jocelyn, Nicole and Tim ready to pound the pavement for Miss Felicity.

Tim - 42km Full Marathon: 3hrs 21mins
Jocelyn - 21km Half Marathon: 1hr 58mins

Jocelyn wanted to share this with us: "Have survived my first Half Marathon and what an amazing experience! Was really pleased with my time of 1 hour 58 minutes and enjoyed (nearly) every minute of it. No dodging people, a gorgeous run over the bridge and around the city, finishing at the Opera House with hundreds of people cheering you on - what's not to like?! A picture perfect day too with not a breath of wind. Fingers crossed for the Melbourne Half in 3 weeks! Thanks everyone for your support, it's incredibly motivating."

We are still to do a final check of money raised thanks to the amazing efforts of these runners (it always takes a little while for everything to 'register' in our fundraising accounts) and will be sure to update the counters as soon as possible.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Go, Go, Go Daddy!

Just one sleep to go before Tim, Jocelyn and Nicole are taking on their runs!!!

So in a bit of celebration mixed with some sweet motivation I have been allowed to share with you a gorgeous song that Tim's 7 year old daughter, Ashleigh, wrote for him.

It is set to some music from Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat...but still good even if you don't know the tune.

Go Go Go Dad
Go Go Go Dad
Go Go Go Daddy
You are running a run
Go GO GO Daddy
You will be number One
Go... Daddy
You're beating the rest
We all love you the best

When you want to retire
and your feet are on fire
There is only one thing to do
and that is to know that we all love you!

Think of us
Run with a bus
and win that race
at an astonishing pace!

Ashleigh (7yrs)

How can anyone not feel motivated when reading this!?!
Thanks Ashleigh for sharing this with us and we also wish your dad all the best!!

To Support all our runners by donating just click the below button - Thank you!

Go, Go, Go Tim, Nicole and Jocelyn!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jocelyn's countdown to (her 2nd) race day!

Jocelyn ran in the City2Surf, and will now take on the Sydney Half Marathon on Sunday before she runs the Melbourne Half Marathon in 3 weeks time - AWESOME!

"Not long to go and training was going great till a cold struck over a week ago. Have only done one light jog in over a week and felt very ordinary :( So my aim is to just get to the finish line then get 100% better for the Melbourne Half Marathon in just over 3 weeks time. I'm sure the thought of Felicity will motivate us all - Good Luck to Tim and Nicole, I'll be thinking of you!" - Jocelyn

Jocelyn also says: "I'm running for Felicity to fundraise so we can continue the fantastic improvements in her life due to the Son-Rise Program...." If you would like to read more about why Jocelyn has chosen to run for Felicity please click HERE

To Support Jocelyn and all our runners by donating just click the below button - Thank you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why is Tim running for Felicity?

"With only a few days to go until the Sydney Marathon I am running over 65kms a week and doing a bikram yoga session to stretch"...
I have always wanted to run a marathon and as we've known Felicity since she was born I decided to join the Marathon of Autism team. If you are going to commit yourself to train and then run 42kms it is good to do it for a reason."
- Tim

This is the 42km course Tim will be running for Felicity on Sunday:

To Support Tim and all our runners by donating just click the below button - Thank you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Less than a week to go!!!

Where have the past few weeks disappeared to? In just 5 short sleeps the mighty Jocelyn, Tim and Nicole will be taking part in the Sydney Running Festival for Felicity.

Jocelyn and Nicole will be taking on the 21km half marathon and Tim will be running his first ever full 42km marathon! WOW!
These are super AWESOME efforts from these courageous runners and a blessing that they wish to do it in support of Miss Fliss. So here is your chance to show them your support... below are all the details you need to sponsor either Tim, Nicole, Jocelyn or all three by making a donation to Felicity's Son-Rise Program.

Donation via credit card can be made by clicking the below yellow button (you do not need a paypal account to do this)

Account Name: T J Costin
BSB Number: 944 300
Account Number: 012 598 461

NOTE: If you would like a receipt, for tax purposes, please send your email address, postal address and a copy of the direct deposit transaction to -

Cheques are to be made out to: T J Costin
Please post them to:
Running the Marathon of Autism
T J Costin
P.O. Box 304
Church Point
NSW, 2105

NOTE: If you would like a receipt, for tax purposes, please include a note with your email address & postal address

Thanks so much & GOODLUCK you AMAZING runners!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Running in Queenstown

How about a nice little early morning training run in Queenstown, New Zealand? Pretty beautiful! I have relocated my last weeks of training to the land of the long white cloud! Stunning. Thinking of our runners as they taper for the Sydney Running Festival this weekend - good luck everyone! Maryke

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Weekend Plans?

What are you up to this weekend? Catching up with friends? Doing a bit of spring cleaning? Just taking it easy?

If you are happen to be in Victoria, Australia on Sunday why not pop into Sugar and Spice Children's Market. This gorgeous handmade market, located in the heated St Ambrose Hall in Woodend, has something for everyone - even the dads!

Free face painting, cupcakes and coffee, a 'Dad's Corner', and an absolute plethora of stunning handmade goodies for kiddies on sale from a wide variety of talented sellers check out what's on offer HERE.... and with only 106 days until the Jolly guy in the red suit pops by this is the perfect chance to grab some Christmas goodies!

All profits raised from this weekends market will be kindly donated to Felicity so from 10am to 2pm happy shopping!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Up, Up, Up and for sale on iTunes!!

Woohoo - how very cool is this? Up, Up, Up, Songs for Felicity Vol 1 has officially gone on sale via iTunes WORLDWIDE!

Yup, anyone in the whole world can grab a copy of the compilation album put together by the very awesome and generous Nadia Ackerman with a wonderful selection of artists from all over the globe by heading to iTunes and searching Up, Up, Up, Songs for Felicity. For just a simple AU$16.99 and a few clicks of your mouse you can have a beautiful collection of songs and will also be supporting Felicity's Son-Rise Program as all money raised from the sale of this CD will be donated to Felicity!!

We have grabbed our copy and I bet it's just a few short day before Felicity is humming along to the songs - Yay!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Training update - 34km training run complete

Feeling much more confident now that I have completed this long training run - it is the longest run in training - just over 6 weeks to go until the start of MM10 - have been running between 65km and 82km per week. Can't wait to get to that start line. The training is exhausting!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

AWESOME effort!! Thank you xx

And just like that the 2010 City2Surf is all over. What an absolutely stunning day Sydney put on for it - sun shining, crisp winter air and 80,000 entrants into one of the worlds biggest fun runs!
Carley, Jocelyn and Ian all took on the mighty 14km race as planned and all walked away from the day with a few blisters & sore muscles but most importantly a HUGE smile on their faces.

Jocelyn - 1hr 16minutes (beating her last years City2Surf by 13 minutes)
Ian - 1hr 37 minutes
Carley - 2hrs 15 minutes

these inspirational runners should be so very, very proud of their efforts - just absolutely AWESOME!!!!!!! Enjoy a well earned rest.

From the bottom of our hearts we thank you all for supporting Joc, Carley and Ian in their run and we are thrilled to share with you that you have helped us raise $5061 so far for our Running the Marathon of Autism campaign.... and that's without seeing our latest Direct Deposit donations (they always take a day or so to 'land' in the account) - WOW!!

Next race we are gearing up for now is the Sydney Half Marathon on Sunday, September 19th. Jocelyn, Sammy and Nicole will be taking this 21km event head on - Go Girls!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

4 sleeps to go...

The timer is ticking away... at the time of publishing this post there is only 3 days, 20 hours, 21 minutes and 42 seconds until the 2010 City2Surf!
3 of the Running the Marathon of Autism runners: Ian, Carley & Jocelyn, will be taking on the 14kms in Felicity's name - AWESOME!!

This is your chance to sponsor these wonderful people for their marathon efforts and in the same action you will be supporting Felicity through her own marathon journey recovering from autism.

We have been overwhelmed with all the support so far and are thrilled that our donation counters are currently at $4506.
How awesome would it be to crack the $5000 mark before the starting gun trigger is pulled at the City2Surf this weekend??

With 3 ways to donate it's quick and easy to further support Felicity in her Son-Rise Program.

Donation via credit card can be made by clicking the below yellow button (you do not need a paypal account to do this)

Account Name: T J Costin
BSB Number: 944 300
Account Number: 012 598 461

NOTE: If you would like a receipt, for tax purposes, please send your email address, postal address and a copy of the direct deposit transaction to -

Cheques are to be made out to: T J Costin
Please post them to:
Running the Marathon of Autism
T J Costin
P.O. Box 304
Church Point
NSW, 2105

NOTE: If you would like a receipt, for tax purposes, please include a note with your email address & postal address

THANK YOU< THANK YOU< THANK YOU in advance for all your support!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Update on the playroom

We were back in the playroom after the backyard has been dug up for septic trenchs, so no throwing for 3 days which was difficult to say the least as this is her thing she needs to do right now... her "ISM" or "STIM". Heard lots of no no no and she really was unimpressed with me. So we were back to creating magnetic hangings and creating massive piles of stuff from the shelves and onto the table. We had a lot of fun with some "up" games, me on my back, her on my feet and me shoving her in the air. I should have thighs of steel! I have also been doing alot of resistance against her feet and body and doing the pretend lift so not so hard on my body. I got some lovely eye contact with bubbles and we are starting to see some spontaneous smiles back at us, which is a massive development for her. It is like she is starting to smile back when a joke is shared. She is also smiling and squirming at "Pat a Cake" with the poke poke poke bit which is also new. Here is a picture of the playroom. It's a cosy little room where there are no boundaries, it is quiet and uncluttered and is entirely her space. She especially loves her piano in there as she loves to hum and has an impressive repetoire of songs. She often sings the scales I practice :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why is Carley running for Felicity?

"When watching the news in August 2009 & seeing the participants in the City 2 Surf, I never imagined that it would be me taking part in 2010. In fact, I would have laughed at the suggestion.
I’m an almost-30 wife & mum of 3. I run a small home-based business. I help look after 2 crazy dogs. I go to church. I love hanging out with family & friends. I read a lot. I Tweet. I avoid housework as much as possible.
But… I don’t run. Never have. To sign on for this is a HUGE deal!
So, why? All in support of my 9-year-old niece Felicity. She suffers from a severe form of autism & her treatment is expensive. So I’m doing my part in helping to raise funds.
As inspiration, I’ve got the face of a beautiful girl and some lyrics borrowed from Michael Bolton. - Carley

…And I won't look back,
I can go the distance,
And I'll stay on track.
No I won't accept defeat,
It's an uphill slope,
But I won't lose hope,
Till I go the distance,
And my journey is complete.
But to look beyond the glory is the hardest part
For a hero's strength is measured by his heart…"

To Support Carley and all our runners by donating just click the below button - Thank you!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why is Jocelyn running for Felicity?

I'm running for Felicity to fundraise so we can continue the fantastic improvements in her life due to the Son-Rise Program.
I've known Felicity all her life and have seen the massive positive impact the Son-Rise Program™ has had on her. This will be my 4th City 2 Surf and running for Felicity inspires me to get up early or to get my butt off the lounge at night once my girls are in bed. Together we can help Felicity reach her potential in life!

I'd also like to spread the word of this program and potentially change peoples lives who are affected by autism. So if by running in The City To Surf I can do that - I'd be thrilled! My training is coming along great and I'm ready for a PB in this event. Bring on the Half Marathon!
- Joc

To Support Jocelyn and all our runners by donating just click the below button - Thank you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

UP, UP, UP..... and away we go!

It is with great excitement that we share this news with you all. A gorgeous and very talented friend of Felicity's, Nadia Ackerman, has rallied up some amazingly talented and generous musicians from Australia, America, Canada and Britain who are all singing for Felicity!
These wonderful songs have been put together to create a compilation CD titled: UP, UP, UP Songs For Felicity Vol.1

How cool is that album cover!?!

Now it's only a short 2 week wait until this awesome CD will be available world wide on iTunes with all proceeds from the purchases going straight to Felicity's Son-Rise Program!

We'll be sure to let you know as soon as you can get your hands ears on this great CD. In the mean time click HERE to hear a sneak peak of some of the tracks that will be on the CD.

A HUGE thanks again to Nadia for making this happen!

Our Son-Rise OutReach

We had a brilliant 2 days with Son-Rise teacher Sean Fitzgerald. He spent two days with our family and our two volunteers providing us with invaluable feedback on our program with Felicity. Felicity thought it was all pretty special. She had all "her people" together and she was the centre of it all. We played, watched each of us in action, did feedback, had feedback and challenged our limiting beliefs. We remembered how amazing our program for Felicity is and how much she touches all our lives as we continue her program. I reflected on how much I have personally changed since we first started four years ago and how good we have all gotten at playing and celebrating. I feel peaceful after this OutReach (this is our third with Sean over 3 years) and feel that we are travelling solidly in the right direction. Felicity is so happy and Sean commented that she is loving people, which is nothing short of amazing since this could have been so different. I continue to learn and grow through this program and feel blessed to have had the opportunity once again for an OutReach. The team is refreshed with a new set of tools and ideas up our sleeves to experiment and play with. (The photo is of her outdoor play area... here she likes to throw... over and over.... it is a developmental "ISM" for her, strengthening her co-ordination and gross motor skills. We build on this motivation of hers making it into crazy fun games)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Media - Sun Herald

Just a quick post to share the article that was in the Sun Herald a few weeks ago. A big thanks to Carley for helping us with this xx

To support Carley, and all our runners please click HERE

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why is Ian running for Felicity?

As one of Felicity’s grandparents I was very supportive of encouraging those girls – including my daughter Carley - who were prepared to train and then run to help raise funds to support Felicity’s Son Rise program. I know first hand the wonderful progress Felicity is making and also the huge sacrifices her parents have to make to avail their daughter of this program.

As I considered all the effort made by the girls running big distances, Felicity’s parents who are on a challenging life path and even more by Felicity herself who faces a very long journey I was challenged to get up and “DO” as well.

In light of their efforts, a 14 km City2Surf run is a very small contribution but it is one that I’m going to have a go at.

So at the moment I’m establishing a training regime – lots of walking, shorts bursts of running and generally building up my stamina to be able to complete the run. I have about 9 weeks to go but I’m spurred on by the smile and hugs of a very precious little 9 year old.
- Ian

To Support Ian and all our runners by donating just click the below button - Thank you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Training Update!

The count down is on for The City to Surf, and while my training is going ok, I thought I'd get some extra help and join a Bootcamp for 6 weeks. It will surely increase my fitness and the boxing component is fantastic for my upper body and cardio (it kills me!) It's nice to enjoy a group activity as well instead of my solo runs, which I love for "me" time. I think it's also time for a massage with my legs feeling very fatigued after my 14km run on Saturday. The things I must do - ha ha. I've signed up for the Melbourne Half Marathon which is 3 weeks after the Sydney Half, so I don't want to trash myself - I'm not as young as I feel! So happy training for the other City to Surf runners, only 4 weeks to go, and Good Luck Maryke this weekend for your Half Marathon - you're a legend! - Jocelyn

Sunday, July 4, 2010

2 weeks to go!

With only 2 weeks to go until the Run Melbourne Half Marathon I am in the final stages of the 18 week program I have been following... it was designed to make me go faster and my intention is to crack the 2 hour mark on July 18th, so we will see if it worked! I completed a 24km run last weekend before breakfast and ran 16km yesterday in the very beautiful area around Torquay, VIC - plus all the sprint training and tempo runs - I am ready :) Here is the stunning sunrise I witnessed yesterday. Happy trails, M

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sugar & Spice plans for the weekend!

This Sunday, June 20th, will see the very first Sugar & Spice Children's Market in Woodend Victoria.

Click HERE to see the yummy list of stall holders who have been hand picked and are ready to go with all their gorgeous. mostly handmade, goodies!!
The hall has central heating, there will be cupcakes and coffee, face painting for the kids, live music, and goodie bags for the 1st 100 shoppers to arrive on the day! Sounds like the perfect Sunday morning to me!

To sweeten the Sugar & Spice experience even more - all the profits that are made through running the June (and September) markets will be donated to Felicity to fund her Son-Rise Program!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Training Update from Jocelyn!

What a fabulous morning! Dancing out of the apartment block to Jackson Five's "Can you feel it", by 5:40am - is that normal?! A brisk walk to the bridge then off for my jog. A still, clear, peaceful morning with no other joggers about till the Opera House. Feeling great today after having a week off (due to a sick child but largely laziness on my part). It's amazing what a rest can do for the body. A sprint up the Harbour Bridge steps then back over the harbour. Lots of people out and about now with running groups and Boot Camps, the first splash of colour on the horizon. Under the bridge and past the grin of Luna Park, along the boardwalk to Lavendar Bay the back again. Happy walkers out today - "Morning!" or a smile and nod of the head. Along the harbours edge till I'm forced into the streets of Kirribilli. Breakfast smells drifting out from waking households, then past my park and up the final hill to home. Stretching and body steaming in the chilled air to Terence Trent D'arby's "Dance Little Sister". A fabulous 60 minute jog to start the day! I'm ready for it! - Jocelyn

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The countdown is on...

At the time of posting this there was: 59 DAYS, 20 HOURS, 15 MINUTES & 6 SECONDS until 3 of our runners take on the Sydney City 2 Surf!

The countdown is on!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Up, Up, Up!!!

Let's play a little game. Image that you had a small book, lets say its a hard cardboard one like a small children's book. Now wherever you are right at this moment, while reading this, take a look around the room/office/space you are in and find a spot for that book to go 'Up'. Be creative & fun. Imagine you were doing it for the entertainment of a child. Would it sit on the light fitting? would it lean against the wall above the window? do you think it would stay balanced on the edge of the bookcase? could you tie it to the curtain?

One of Miss Felicity's most favorite things to do at the moment is to put things 'Up'! She could spend days and days just challenging us to find a spot 'Up' somewhere to put an object of her choice.
Felicity will grab an item like a ball, a toy, a hair brush, a shoe, a cup, a piece of paper, a puzzle piece, a hat, a pillow - absolutely anything! Then with her HUGE beaming cheeky smile she will hand it to you an say "Up" - this is where we come into this awesome interaction that Felicity loves oh so very much. With that random item we find ourselves balancing, hanging, leaning, clipping to and tying it from any spot that we can that is 'Up' above Felicity's eye level.

People effected by autism have a need to do 'repetitive behaviors' or 'Stims'. Most autism intervention programs teach you to try and stop these behaviors. The Son-Rise Program has taught us that by JOINING Felicity in her repetitive behavior we can make a connection with her, on her level and build a real relationship from it - AWESOME!

Recently Felicity's dad, Matt, was so very, very proud of the 'Up' efforts he had made with the items Felicity requested he put 'Up', while they were playing in the playroom, that we actually took some photos to show you.

Yes, that is actually a little wooden toy sitting INSIDE the balancing Mr Potato Head toy!! & check out the blocks balancing on top of each other on the window hinges!!

Not bad hey? This just makes Felicity's day and the interaction we can build on and teach her just from doing this simple task motivates us to put things 'Up' for her more and more!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Training Update from Jocelyn!

Out for my morning jog this morning and on the bridge by 5:40am. 2 other runners out, nodded hello to the security guard huddled against the cold and wonder if it's fog or rain coming closer. hmmm. I love the harbour at night - it looks like fairy land with the lights reflecting on the water. Over the Cahill Expressway and towards the Opera House. Stretching a tight hamstring and wondering if I should run up the Opera House steps, when on comes "Eye of the Tiger" on my iPod - question answered! Up and a little jump at the top (it's pitch dark), before heading round the icon with the first drops of rain hitting my hat. Cleaners polishing the floors under "the toaster" building, the first office workers wrapped in scarves with steaming coffees, the homeless at the Quay under mounds of blankets and sleeping bags - Sydney wakes. The glorious smells of fresh pastries baking at the patisserie on Argyle St nearly sway me to stop (except it's not open yet and I have no money - but I can dream). Up the pylon steps and back onto the bridge with the rain teaming down now. James Brown and the Bee Gees encourage me on and since I'm already wet, I may as well continue round the streets of Kirribilli, Autumn leaves filling the gutters and drains and up the final hill to home. A great way to welcome the new day!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Felicity Having Fun!

Hope this post finds everyone enjoying their weekends with a smile! I just wanted to do a quick and happy post to share with you all this great photo of Felicity we snapped just this morning while we were playing at a local park.

Felicity loves to go for walks so we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went for a wander to the park where Felicity, in her true dare devil style, wanted to be pushed higher & higher on the swings - you can tell by the pic that she was enjoying every second of it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

PayPal is up and Running the Marathon of Autism

We're so relieved to finally be able to offer PayPal as an option to donate!!
There has been allot of paper work, international phone calls, faxes sent, emails back and forth over the past few weeks to get this up and running but has been worth it all!

Now with just one click of any of the yellow PayPal 'Donate' buttons you will see on our website or the one in the sidebar of this blog you will be directed straight to PayPal. Once there all you need to do is nominate an amount you wish to donate via your credit card - Easy!
You DO NOT need a PayPal account to make a donation via PayPal

The best thing about this is anyone world wide can now donate and help Felicity - Awesome!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Arrrrrr, up for auction ye matey!!

Do you have a little pirate? does your little pirate have a birthday party coming up? would your little pirate like some bunting to hang in their bedroom or play area? Would you like to be part of a fundraising auction for Felicity?
If you answered yes to even one of the above questions then look no further - we can help!

Some gorgeous pirate themed bunting was made by Giggleberry Creations to decorate a pirate party that was in park so the banners hung from a big tree... after the party was finished the banners were folded up and have been sitting untouched and unused ever since. These fun banners are in excellent condition and have years of life in them!

Sooooo up for auction via the Giggleberry Creations facebook page HERE is the 3 bunting banners, a total of metres of red, white and black pirate flags that can be used for a pirate party and when the festivities are all over can be used to decorate your pirates bedroom!

These banners also come with a small pirate package that will have you well on your way for a pirate party including pirate invitations, pirate serviettes, pirate sprinkles, pirate eye patches, pirate party hats, cookie cutters & cupcake wrappers all staying in the red, black and white theme!

As of today (Wednesday 12th May) until 9pm on Sunday (16th of May) you have the chance to bid on this pirate package by placing your bid in the comments section under the package photo HERE. At 9pm on Sunday night The auction will be 'closed' and whomever is the auctions highest bidder is the winner!

* 3 pirate bunting banners - 11 flag/approx 2.5metres, 23 flags/approx 5metres, 22 flags/approx 5metres - all with extra ribbon at each end for hanging
* 20 Pirate invitations & matching red envelopes
* pack of 16 pirate serviettes
* 12 black plastic pirate eye patches
* 12 cardboard pirate party hats
* 1 pack of pirate sprinkles
* 1 pack of red & white cupcake wrappers
* 12 red, black & white cupcake flags
* 1 Palm Tree cookie cutter
* 1 Skull cookie cutter
* 1 Treasure Chest cookie cutter

* Only bids placed in the comments section under the photo found HERE will be counted
* The winning bid is the amount to be paid - no extra for postage/packaging
* The winning bid must to be paid via paypal or direct deposit within 3 days of the auction closing - we will contact you with details
* All the items will be posted to the winning bidder as soon as payment clears
* A receipt will be sent with the items for tax purposes as the winning bid is a donation
* Please ask any questions you may have prior to bidding

Happy bidding and a HUGE thank you for helping us Support Felicity and Running the Marathon of Autism
If you don't have use for these pirate goodies but would still like to support Felicity please take a look HERE for details.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Consult with Carolina from The Autism Treatment Center

Hi, I'm Matt, father of Felicity, and I wanted to share what I learned recently on our last conference call to The Autism Treatment Center of America.

Every three months or so, we regularly link up with Carolina in Massachusetts via Skype, to talk and discuss Felicity's program.

Even though its nearly 3 years since first learning about The Son-Rise Program, I continually find there is still more to discover, and I found that was certainly the case from our last link-up.

I have heard many other people make the same comment about The Son-Rise Program, saying that it is a gradual continuous learning process. The reason for this, I believe, is that through playing with our child in the playroom, what we are learning about is ourselves. So in a very real way, Felicity is teaching us about ourselves. This is a real gift.

In preparation for our latest consultation, we made a couple of short videos of Felicity and I playing together one evening. We send the videos across to Carolina, who then views them before we have our link-up.

Thankfully, the time difference at this time of year means that we can talk together in the mid-late evening. During the Australian summer, we start in the late hours and end in the early hours of the next day!

I was a little apprehensive when we sent through the videos because I knew that I have had much "better" sessions in the playroom than this one, which felt a little "flat" in some sections. However, if I am going to be honest and get the most from our consult, then it would be best to send through the "good" and the "bad".

Sure enough, Carolina picked up on this and we got to discuss what I can do better when challenges arise. To pick a specific point, there were a couple of times when Felicity was asking me to put some of the puzzles back on the shelf when she was finished with them. Each time Felicity would ask me to put them "Up" and I would respond by doing so.

I was respecting where Felicity was at in that moment - she wanted to get that puzzle put away, and after that we would move on. But it did not feel like we were playing together. I felt like I was just an extension of Felicity, and she was using me as an instrument.

The challenge is how can I build this interaction of putting this puzzle on the shelf, into a playful game with even more interaction between us?

So Carolina, like she often does, started to workshop and brainstorm with us to try and come up with things to try that would interest Felicity and draw her in to a little playful game or even an imaginative idea, as small as it may be.

Felicity has a deep love for the physical and slap-stick tickles her funny-bone, so we came up with balancing the puzzle on our head, spinning a puzzle piece on our node, or dancing our way to the shelf along with a playful song.

The theme behind each idea is to extend the interaction that little bit more, and to show Felicity that we are here to play with her, even if she might not be that interested to play with us at the time.

Of the two people in the playroom, it is the neuro-typical person (that's me) who is more likely to be initiating social interactions more often. So even though we allow Felicity to lead the activities in the playroom, it is role of the facilitator to build the interactions as much as possible, and hence to take ownership and to lead the social interaction inside the playroom. This was the main idea that was reinforced for me from our consult.

This idea is not a new one for me, and I had known about it before. But somehow I had let this slip out of my routine. Or had I become too routine, and forgotten this key idea?

Are there areas where I could challenge myself to grow? It has also been said, that as we learn and grow ourselves, we give our children more freedom to grow as well.

This is one of the big reasons that having regular consultations with the experienced team in the US is recommended. I particularly find sending the video through and getting feedback to be very useful, and helping to get me on the right track for Felicity's program.

I look forward will be putting what I learnt into practice in the playroom.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We've been Styled Gorgeous!

Check out our new look! Pretty fancy hey??
Sarah from Style Me Gorgeous has created such a beautiful new look for our website HERE, our facebook page HERE and our Twitter account HERE helping to unify all the Running the Marathon of Autism networks!

I went to Sarah with a few requests:
* something fun, 'girly' and fresh.
* somehow incorporate a puzzle piece in as it is the symbol of Autism
* and also add a butterfly to symbolise the miraculous transformation Felicity is making.
THANKYOU so much Sarah for all your work and for coming up with such a stunning design when I was so very scattered with what we were after!

As well as all of our networking sites having a new look Sarah also designed a fabulous new donate button that can be easily put on a blog and/or website.
We would LOVE you to add it to your blog to help us spread the word and support Felicity. All you need to do is cut and paste the HTML code, found below the button of your choice, into the sidebar of your blog or on your website. Anyone who clicks on the button will be directed straight to our website

Support Felicity Button

RTMOA Button

So what do you all think of our new look?