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?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Introduction to Son-Rise Program® with amazing teacher Sean Fitzgerald

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a 3 day course on the Son-Rise Program® in Melbourne to do a bit of a refresher and it has given me an entire new perspective on Felicity. I thought I new the basics, but it seemed like I was listening with new ears because Felicity has changed so much since I last heard this information and there was an amazing new depth to it. I am so motivated and have some great new ideas to use.
I met amazing people, including the Melbourne network of families who are using Mega-meeting to meet regularly each fortnight and stay connected. Some of the volunteers I also met are truly amazing individuals and they inspired me to search for more volunteers for my program. Sean presented the Son-Rise concepts and principals in an easy and interactive format.

If you ever get a chance to attend one of Sean's seminars, run don’t walk! They are not to be missed!
I am so glad I went and I also got to stay with my beautiful girlfriend - Maryke and reconnect with her wonderful family who I had not seen in tooooo long!
With love and enthusiasm
Tanya (Felicity's Mum)