Randa Habelrih was given the opportunity to talk about her School MATES program on Channel 9’s Today Extra yesterday (confusing isn’t it) and her message has resonated with so many people that the video has gone viral.
Randa is doing wonderful work for children on the spectrum and her message is clear. She wants people to take awareness to a new level that practically facilitates INCLUSION for people on the spectrum and she has created a simply program called School MATES that will show people how to do that in schools.
Last Saturday MJL Publications hosted the formal launch of Parenting A Child On The Spectrum and what a magnificent event it was, with people coming from far and wide to connect with the authors and their stories.
I opened the event to a full house at Redcliffe Library and told the story of how the book came to be. Thank God I booked both meeting rooms because there were even a couple of people standing outside.
Julie Cross, who wrote the foreword for the book, then followed with her own extraordinary story of parenting a child on the Autism spectrum which managed to hold everyone completely captivated, and took them through a range of emotions from pure joy and laughter, to sadness, recognition, bewilderment and then back to joy. It was quite a journey and gave the audience a taste of what to expect from the book.
The recipient of the fundraising efforts on the day was The Sycamore School – Autism Friendly Learning founded by contributing author Cindy Corrie so Cindy gladly gave a presentation outlining details of the first full-time primary school for children on the Autism spectrum in Queensland. Everyone was so moved by her endeavours. What a remarkable achievement.
Contributing author Randa Habelrih, who also wrote the book Dealing With Autism, has created a volunteer, peer-based buddy system called School MATES which is currently being piloted in 4 high schools in New South Wales. Randa’s passion for taking AWARENESS to a whole new level that facilitates INCLUSION was evident in her presentation and everyone present got excited as Randa explained the opportunities that will come as a result of the program.
Every one of the contributing authors have done, and are doing, remarkable things for their families and within their broader communities and we all recognise that we are in very good company.
Each one of the authors was acknowledged and applauded before those that were present came to the front of the room where we captured this precious moment in time with more than half of the contributing authors in the same place at the same time. Given that contributors are from 4 states this was indeed a rare moment.
Finally, lucky door prizes were drawn and many happy people were pleased to be the recipients of some awesome prizes, but none more than Jazzy who drew a $50 Hoyts voucher courtesy of Paula Burgess and Beyond The Maze.
The connection within the room was tangible as new friendships were made, experiences were validated, and books were bought and signed. The experience was perfectly summed up by one of our guests who said this:
“I attended this event today and it was amazing to be there! I could relate to everything as a parent of two boys on the spectrum, I laughed, I cried and I laughed some more. Thank you for sharing your stories and journeys with us, I look forward to reading the book and all of your journeys. I felt so much love and support today. Thank you Deborah Fay, Julie Cross, Paula Burgess and all the other authors.”
This is exactly the experience we wanted to create, not just at the book launch but through the book Parenting A Child On The Spectrum.
And…just when you think it can’t get any better, many of us met straight after at South Bank to witness the bridge Light It Up Blue once more for Autism, for The Sycamore School, for Parenting A Child On The Spectrum, and for hope for families.
A very special and privileged guided tour of the top level of Rydges Hotel in South Bank gave us a very different perspective on the day we’d had, the month that had been, the book that has now officially been released, and the bridge that was blue for all of us who have raised, or are raising a child on the Autism spectrum.
Special thanks goes to my beautiful friends Kim Guthrie and Theresa Smith for their hard work on the day.
Thanks also to my handsome husband Stuart Fay and my amazingly talented son Matthew.
And last but not least, special thanks to Media Coach Deborah Morandin who has been right behind me every step of the way for the last 6 weeks, ensuring that the book gets the attention it deserves, and that the message we are trying to convey gets out to those who need to hear it. Anyone who is looking for media for business, a not-for-profit organisation or for a special project would do well to attend Deborah’s upcoming workshop. Details at Butterfly Media.
Check out the gallery below for more wonderful photos from the day. Thank you to everyone for allowing us to take your photos and share them.
If you would like a copy of Parenting A Child On Spectrum click on the book cover and follow the link to the book shop:
What a week for MJL Publications with authors featuring in two separate stories in this week’s Redcliffe Herald.
First we have the article about the launch of Parenting A Child On The Spectrum featuring Leah Adams, Paula Burgess and Deborah Fay.
The launch will be held at Redcliffe Library this Saturday 30th April starting at 2.30pm followed by the lighting of the Victoria Bridge for the second time to mark the official launch and to wind up Autism Awareness Month.
Get your tickets here:
There was also an article featuring MJL Publications Author Marney Perna who is doing amazing work in the community in her role as President of the Soroptimists International Moreton North Inc. (SIMNI).
Congratulations on all the worthwhile work you do Marney. We are very proud of you.
If you would like your own copy of Parenting A Child On The Spectrum click here:
Each of the authors who have contributed to Parenting A Child On The Spectrum are doing amazing things for others in the Autism community.
Randa Habelrih made the news this week for her peer-based social inclusion program, School Mates, which aims to assist students who might feel excluded at school.
Three Sydney schools are participating in a pilot of School Mates and Randa has explained how the program would help give students with autism a sense of belonging and make them feel more settled at school.
You can read about it here:
Randa also talks about the program in our podcast on A League Of Their Own:
And finally, if you would like a copy of Parenting A Child On The Spectrum click here:
When we launched Parenting A Child On The Spectrum on the 2nd April and gathered to watch the Victoria Bridge Light Up Blue for Autism we were very fortunate to be joined by the delightful Dr Renae Beaumont.
Dr Beaumont has become very well-known for her program called Secret Agent Society and I am so excited to share it with you here today. It looks so exciting and inviting and I wish I was a kid again so that I could join myself.
Check out this video showing how the program works:
On April 30th I will share with you my interview with Dr Beaumont for A League Of Their Own which I know you will love and if you have a child on the spectrum you will gain some valuable insight from.
In the meantime, if you would like your own copy of Parenting A Child On The Spectrum, go here: