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: