by Stephen Peereboom, Regional Sales Engineer, Bose
My Wife and I are parents of three Non-Verbal Autistic children aged 5, 4, and 3 with support needs ranging from very high to high functioning. We met a little later in life and decided that starting a family was our priority. As a result, three loving boys arrived back to back.
Learning that your child is Autistic is a tough thing and there are realisations that come up that you really don’t see coming. Will they ever hold down a job? Probably not. Will they ever talk? Unlikely. Have a wife, girlfriend or find love of any kind? Almost definitely not.
So, what can you do? You learn everything you can and try everything you can, and never stop trying. You will have more failure than successes, but every milestone is celebrated no matter how small. The daily challenges are real.
As we have learned about the reality of being an Autistic male in this world, we have found some real injustices that are very hard to swallow. The Autistic are commonly targeted and exploited, abused, ripped off and even murdered. It’s a hard life for all of us, but it’s harder for those on the spectrum.
It was this truth that has moved us to create our charity, Spectrum Support and our first major project, Project Eleos.
The purpose of Project Eleos is to change the life experience of Australians with ASDs, and change community attitudes to Autistic Australians. It’s a big job.
The first priority is to make the world a safer place. Working with internationally recognised experts in ASD and First Responder Training (Police, Fire, Ambulance) Spectrum Support has developed a training module teaching First Responders how to manage a Victim/Suspect/Witness that is on the spectrum. This module is to be delivered to first responders nationally with the assistance of the NSW Mental Health Intervention Team.
In addition to this training, we will be manufacturing and distributing Wristbands, Necklaces and Pins for each person diagnosed with ASD in Australia. These will each carry the ASD Talisman, the symbol of Autism in Australia and the symbol that will be recognised by first responders nationally. This is the key, the message that the person wearing the ASD Talisman is Autistic and the training will kick in.
It is easy to mistake the actions and speech of an Autistic person as many things that they are not. It can look like violence, look like aggression or non-cooperative behaviour, or even drug or alcohol intoxication. In truth, Autistic people are rarely violent and are usually looking to increase or decrease sensory input. This is at the very heart of the disorder.
Now, this takes money and this is where our AV community comes in. We have teamed up with the great guys from KONA Training and Consulting for a fundraising event in October that will be a lot of fun and we’re looking for your support.
The Spectrum Support Charity Ride will be four days riding a motorcycle around NSW to some of the most breathtaking parts of the state. It’s a fundraiser, networking and fun event that will be a lifelong memory, and we hope the first of many annual outings.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Individual Riders: Sign up to ride and you will be given a donation account on the ride website. You need to raise $5000 to ride in October, so you can contribute yourself, your company can kick in, friends, family, the guys down the pub. 5K and you’re in!!
Corporate Sponsors: Packages are available across various levels. Packages include promotion and presence at our Spectrum Support Charity Ride day events, Golf Days and our annual Black Tie Dinner. Please see our websites at www.sscharityride.com.au and www.spectrumsupport.org for more information.
We’re looking for as many riders as we can to get this important work done and support the Autistic community that truly need protection.
Explore NSW like never before…..
NSW is particularly blessed with great riding roads and the beauty of this trip is in the stunning surrounding landscape!
Day 1 – the Old Pacific Highway towards the Hunter Valley
Starting in Centennial Park (TBC) you will head North along the Old Pacific Highway or the “Old Road”, as it winds over, under and alongside the freeway, always offering a more interesting and picturesque option, framed on one side by ancient rock walls and by the stunning Hawkesbury River on the other. As the road winds on, the scenery changes as you climb through fern gullies and old forest, and the smell of gum leaves is always in the air.
It’s the perfect day out before we head into the Wine Country of the Hunter Valley for our 1st pre-booked overnight stay. This is where we will have a beautiful meal, enjoy great company and your choice of drinks.
Day 2: Country Western NSW
Day 2 takes us through the Country NSW where we will experience first-hand this wonderful country as well as the drought affected areas.
Beginning our ride in the famous Hunter Valley, we will ride West skirting National Parks and Winery’s alike, passing through historic towns like Bylong and Breakfast Creek.
Riding through magnificent motorbike friendly roads we finish the day in Historic Bathurst, concluding up with the mandatory circuit of Mount Panorama.
Dinner and bragging to follow!
Day 3: Riding high – the Alpine Way
Day 3 and time to get some altitude! We will ride into the highest point of NSW, the magnificent Mt. Kosciuszko, be sure to pack your woollies as we make our way to the adventure playground of Jindabyne, with its huge, reflective lake and the Snowy Mountains towering over us.
Riding through roads flanked with wild-flower as the altitude rises and the trees and hills cluster around the road, nature will provide a feast for the eyes.
We will spend the night at Jindabyne sharing experiences, laughs and stories of the day
Day 4: From Summit to Coast Jindabyne to Wollongong and home to Sydney
Heading North to Canberra we turn right and go ‘over the top’ of the Great Dividing Range, winding our way from Jindabyne to the coast.
The Grand Pacific Drive is a 140km coastal drive south of Sydney and includes beautiful scenery, coastal rainforests, quaint villages and over the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge before going through the Royal National Park.
Lunch and breaks will make sure we fully enjoy the magnificent scenery and welcome warmth of the ocean path.
On the home stretch now, we’re off to Sydney, where we finish with a bite to eat before heading home to share our experiences with our loved ones.
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