Hope for those with Autism

Grab your tissues and watch this video.

A new centre, the first of its kind in Western Australia, designed to help children with autism and developmental delays, was launched in East Fremantle, near Perth, Western Australia on Wednesday of last week.

The centre, known as the Learning, Education and Research Network (L.E.A.R.N.), aims to ensure that children suspected of having autism or developmental delays are diagnosed and receive intensive treatment at the earliest possible time.

L.E.A.R.N. was established by Perth woman Mandy Mason, whose daughter was diagnosed with autism in 2006 at the age of two. That’s Mandy and Juliette in the video.

I had the privilege of interviewing Mandy during my morning radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM last week. It was a delight to hear the passion Mandy has for the centre and the help that is being provided for dozens of families.

You can hear my chat with Mandy by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

If you’ve had experience with Autism I’d really appreciate hearing a little bit of your story through the comments section of this post.


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The show continues

Rodney_and_Trumpet.jpgI’m not convinced that I could eat an ice cream that size all at once … but I’d give it a fairly good try.

I’m about to head off for my third day at this year’s Perth Royal Show. It’s day four of the show but I had Sunday off. I’m broadcasting my radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM from the show all week.

I may get a little damp on my ride today. There are a few showers about but I’m hoping I won’t arrive too soggy. The ride distance more than triples my regular daily commuting distance so I’m loving the extra cycling.

The broadcast has been fun so far with lots to see and talk about and it’s a welcome change from sitting inside a studio.

We’re broadcasting from a caravan just up the hill from sideshow alley and so we’re getting a lot of passing people traffic. If you’re heading to the show this week make sure you drop in and say hello. This Perth Royal Show map shows you exactly where to find us.

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ChrisMurphy.jpgWe were imprisoned for a crime we didn’t commit and the power to set us free was in your hands.

Thank you for making our release possible and helping people with Cystic Fibrosis.

On Friday, together with 98.5 Sonshine FM’s Tim Long, I was locked up behind the microphone, in King’s Square, Fremantle. Our six hour ‘Convict for a Cause’ broadcast raised much needed funding for Cystic Fibrosis WA.

Cystic Fibrosis is the most common life threatening, recessive genetic condition affecting Australian children. It’s affects a number of organs in the body and there is no cure. Fortunately, thanks to Cystic Fibrosis WA, life can be a lot more manageable for sufferers.

During the day we spoke to a number of people who provided listeners with a better understanding of the disease. Amongst those interviewed was Ben Maxey, a brave 12 year old who left his hospital bed to be at the event. Australian Idol contestant and crowd favourite, Chris Murphy, also joined in and busked for his bail. In the photo you can see him busking under the watchful eye of one of the prison guards.

A big thanks to BigDadGib who kicked off the fund raising with his donation as soon as I mentioned it early last week. Thanks Gib.

Convict for a Cause is an annual fund raising event. Thanks to your generosity, we managed to raise $2051.60. Cystic Fibrosis WA is still taking donations so you can still help by clicking here and donating. The tally has already risen since I originally published this post and I’m hoping that we’ll see even more money going towards this great cause.

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A New Blog Launch

I’ve never been one of those bloggers who has thought a lot of keeping a number of blogs but that’s only because I’ve never really had the need to keep more than one blog. Publishing one blog has always seemed like enough effort for me.

All that changes soon with the launch a new blog but first I’d like you to check it out. I want you to get in first and give me some feedback.

The Morning Programme is now up and getting ready to provide another way for me to connect with listeners to my radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM. Ash Wright, Sonshine FM’s technical guru and master of all trades, has put the blog together over the past few days.

There are only a few posts there at the moment but in time there’ll be a lot more content. The plan is to highlight features and interviews from the programme.

The posts you’ll see there at the moment have mostly been pinched from this blog. A lot of the posts I’ve published regarding my radio guests will now be found on The Morning Programme but I’ll certainly still be highlighting things here that I think a wider audience will find interesting.

I’ll be launching the blog to my listeners in the coming days but I’d really like you to have a look and let me know what you think. Please leave a comment or two at the new blog so that we can see that everything’s working.

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Are you really insured?

Do you know what your insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t?

If your keys were stolen would your insurance company pay to have your locks replaced?

Many of us feel secure in the knowledge that our homes, contents and vehicles are insured but when the time comes to make a claim will we be caught out by the fine print?

Simply Living

Life Skills Trainer, Jill Bonanno, joined me this morning on 98.5 Sonshine FM for our regular Friday morning radio segment, Simply Living. We talked about a variety of things but one of the major issues we discussed was insurance.

Jill recently spoke to a lady who had her handbag stolen while she was out. She did the right thing and cancelled all her cards but as her bag contained items that would identify her home address and her house keys she decided to change all her door locks.

Unfortunately, her insurance company didn’t cover the bag or any of the items in the bag because it wasn’t at her home at the time.

I know that some policies do cover such things but it’s really up to each of us to know what our policy does and doesn’t cover.

Lock up your bikes

During the programme this morning we took a call from June who said that she found out the hard way that her bicycles were only insured while they were locked up at her home. She now has full insurance on her bikes wherever they might be.

Bill had a different story. He had four quad motorbikes. When the two smallest ones were stolen from a locked shed, his insurer told him that they didn’t cover quad bikes. Bill politely stood his ground and will now have the bikes replaced. Apparently, they do cover quads up to 250cc. Strangely enough, they won’t cover the damage the thieves did to the two bigger quads while pinching the smaller ones because they’re bigger than 250cc.

Bill also found himself out of pocket on a recent holiday. His vehicle insurer refused to cover the cost of his broken windscreen because he hadn’t informed them that he would be taking his car above the 26th parallel. Weird.

Make a list and check it twice

The advice Bill gave is to write down everything you want to make sure is included in your policy and have your insurance company confirm that you’re covered.

Have you ever been caught out by the fine print of your insurance policy? Do you know what is and isn’t covered?

You can listen to today’s Simply Living segment using the audio player at the bottom of this post.

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