All You Need Is Love & Laser Beak Man

Last weekend at TEDX Sydney at the Sydney Opera House, two people I love very much took to the stage and squeezed their inspiring and uplifting story into the confines of a 10 minute (or so) presentation.

Tim Sharp is a wonderful artist who created a superhero called Laser Beak Man at age 11. Laser Beak Man is funny, irreverent, cheeky, kind and so very loveable. Tim is all those things too, but he is so much more. He also happens to have autism.

Judy Sharp is a mother. She is also a survivor. She has singlehandedly raised both her sons to be good, kind, thoughtful and generous men. That in itself deserves a standing ovation.

Tim & Judy Sharp together are a force of nature. Undeniable and impressive. This will make your day. It is hopeful and it is powerful. Their story will get you through those dark days when your child is screaming and kicking and terrified and confused and overwhelmed.

Tim & Judy Sharp at TEDX Sydney (once you click through, go to the right hand arrow to find Tim & Judy’s presentation)

Tim & Judy TEDX Sydney

Tim & Judy TEDX Sydney

Laser Beak Man knows iT!

Laser Beak Man knows iT!

 

Advertisements

So Much Things To Say

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but believe me when I tell you, that I have been running non-stop the entire time. Yes even in my sleep. Not that I’m getting much of that!
So here’s a quick catch up via some images.

J had a birthday! He’s now 2 and has developed a very strong interest in shoes.

20130705-214146.jpg

20130705-214226.jpg

20130705-214310.jpg

 

 

It’s school holidays. Two weeks. We haven’t gone anywhere or done anything special. IT’s been raining non-stop. Torture!

This is because Baby B’s contact visits have had me tied up every other day. I’m either zipping over to the other side of town or desperately trying to tidy up my house before her mother, some worker, family or friends arrive to make more mess. So my biggest boy L has been indulging in his most aggravating behaviours of non-stop screaming, turning one every single light in the house (no matter how many times I turn them off, trying to drink liquid soap or disembowelling new boxes of tissues, filling the bath tub to it’s very limit, running away, scratching etc.

He has also been doing a LOT of talking, listening to a LOT of music, doing some very handwriting like squiggles on the magna doodle board, teaching himself to play the Toca Boca Robots game on the ipad (first ‘game’ ever!). He’s also been actually playing with, engaging with and enjoying the company of J – so lovely to see them enjoying each other’s company. Here he is entertaining himself by lining up all the free magazines in the reception area while we wait for baby B’s mother to arrive for her visit. He’s never been a ‘liner upperer’ but it looks like we are heading that way and I’m taking it as a sign of progress. Don’t try to talk me out of it!

20130706-000727.jpg

 

Actually, I lied. We did do something special. We went to a wonderful exhibition by Tim Sharp at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Such a happy, funny, touching, beautiful and impressive collection of artworks – all featuring Laser Beak Man of course. I had to do a lot of fast talking, using my best powers of persuasion to convince Tim’s mother Judy, that she should allow me to buy one of the works. It wasn’t that she didn’t want me to have it, but that she didn’t want me to BUY it. Judy, Tim & brother Sam are beautiful people who make everything seem more beautiful – and that’s because…

Everything is Beautiful by Tim Sharp

Everything is Beautiful by Tim Sharp

Looking forward to hanging this on one of the walls of my messy house!

 

Tim

Photo a day in april for autism acceptance

It’s the last day of April. So, my final post in this series.

There are many things that i like about living in Brisbane, Australia. I love that we are not in the biggest or most famous city. I love the architecture, the music scene, the arts community. I LOVE that I live in a city where we have a bridge named after a band (the go betweens).

I especially love that Brisbane is also home to Tim Sharp. Tim is a wonderful artist and also has autism. Tim is so loved by our community here that he was named in our top 50 happy list – for the joy and happiness he brings to so many.

In the first week of April one of his art works was projected up onto one of our beautiful old bridges. It really speaks for itself – it looks absolutely amazing.

Thank you Tim for all that you do for the autism community. You and your incredible family give so much hope and happiness to the autism families here and around the world.

And with that – April is officially over!

20130430-215008.jpg
Photo credit: Mark Pitt

The Finale

Day 30: Autism Awareness Blogathon (Final Post)

I made it! 30 days and 30 posts for autism awareness and acceptance. It has been an amazing experience for me. Most of the time it has been easy. I’ve known what I wanted to write about and the words have just flowed. Other times, it’s been really tough. I’ve fallen asleep and woken up with a startle hoping I have enough time to write and publish before midnight strikes. Some nights the babies just won’t go to sleep, so I’ve been holding them in one arm and doing the fastest one handed typing I could with the other.

My domestic duties have suffered (ummmm where IS that vacuum cleaner??? and I think my mop may have died sometime around mid-April), but I was on a mission and I would not be deterred! I tried to think of the people who read this blog, there’s a very broad mix of folk and many of them have nothing to do with the world of autism. Could I keep them entertained and interested while opening this window on my life? I also worried a bit. Am I now officially the world’s most boring and relentless blogger? Oh no! Not another post from Rose… enough already!

So now that I’ve made it to the end, I want to say thank you. Like any good speech, there’s some people who need to be mentioned. The blogathon has consolidated a group I call my ‘bloggy pals’. They are present and accounted for online. They are all wonderful writers themselves and they seem to get me.

So a heartfelt thanks to:

George from Coalescence. What a faithful and thoughtful friend you are. I know you have read and commented on every single post this month. You have cheered me on, encouraging me to feel that my writing has purpose and meaning to others. You are such a great find.

ProfMomEsq – I can’t quite remember who discovered who, but I am so glad that it happened. I love your heart, your humor and your smarts. You’ve got a way with words and a lot to say that needs to be said.

Thanks Cynthia at That Cynking Feeling for all the shares and the links and especially for the co-blog we did on the senses (yours and mine). That was fun to do.

Sarah at Crazy Antelope and I have a lot in common – 3 boys who are brothers by pure genius luck and brought together by love. Also autism, crazy neighbours, Australians and so much more.

Ruth – my IRL friend and dedicated reader of my blog. I love our late night chats. Thank you for your encouragement, inspiration and big, big heart.

Judy – I feel like you are shining a light in the darkness and beckoning me forward, telling me to be brave, that it’s going to be OK. Thank goodness for you.

For all my lurkers and likers – I know you’re out there and I’m glad that you are. Thank you for reading and for your silent approval. I figure if you didn’t like it, you wouldn’t come back, so thanks for coming back.

Family and friends – you help me laugh through my tears and well up when the good times roll. I may be a single parent, but I couldn’t do it without your love and support.

Officially signing off on the blogathon. Regular services will resume soon.  Here’s some pictures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Fairy Catcher

Day 21: Autism Awareness Blogathon

Just a quick one tonight. Conferencing is sooooo draining. But making the effort to get down to the river to watch the new Tim Sharp Laser Beak Man image projected onto the William Jolly Bridge, was a lovely way to see the day out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Laser Beak Man, A Bridge, A Foundation

Day Two: Autism Awareness Month

Today is World Autism Awareness Day – declared by the United Nations, no less. But last night belonged to Tim Sharp.

A crowd of about 100 people gathered on a footbridge over the Brisbane River as one of our stunning autumn days turned to dusk. There were kids running around (including mine) picnic blankets with food and drink and a wonderful feeling of excitement as friends and families gathered to watch one of our landmark bridges become a canvas.

Tim Sharp has autism. He is 23 and he is an artist. He invented the character Laser Beak Man who appears in all Tim’s artworks, usually with something to say. His work is uplifting and humorous and Laser Beak Man is a very unconventional and literal superhero.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was an evening of firsts. It was the first time that the William Jolly Bridge had been lit up with projected artwork that had a (very worthy) cause attached to it. It was the first time Tim’s work had been projected onto a structure in this way. It was so exciting to see the images slowly emerge as the natural light faded and night became darker. The bridge looked amazing.

William Jolly Bridge - Laser Beak Man

Tim’s mother Judy and brother Sam were there. Judy spoke of the journey that brought their family to this moment. She’s an amazing woman who, without all the services and support we have today has guided both her sons (Sam has just finished competing in the Olympics swimming trials) towards their future with heart and intelligence.

Judy then took everyone by surprise when she announced the launch of the Tim Sharp Foundation. It will be a non-profit organisation which helps to connect young volunteers with autistic young people. The volunteers commit to taking them out once a week to an event or activity, that anyone their age would enjoy. It could be going to see a band, going to a movie – whatever works. What a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to see the Foundation get off the ground and I hope I can be a part of helping to make that happen.

At this point, there was another first. It was the world premier of the Laser Beak Man song. A while ago now Tim was contacted by a band based in Nashville, Tennessee. They had googled the words ‘happy colorful art’ when they were looking for artwork for their album. Laser Beak Man came up in that search and a unique friendship was born. That group is the Ghost Ballerinas and together with Tim they have  written the Laser Beak Man song. Last night the song was played publicly for the first time ever. There was a lot of crazy dance moves going on – the kids loved it!

I finally had to drag my three boys home as they were exhausted from having too much fun and it was bedtime for them. As we left, some of the kids had taken over the microphone and were taking full advantage. I could hear 5yo Jack reciting the alphabet backwards perfectly.  A great way to end the night.

Congratulations to Tim and his family. What a wonderful achievement. So much to look forward to.

Here’s some of the media coverage:

Chanel 7 news 

Channel 9 news

ABC Radio

Laser Beak Man

I wanted to share this video with you. It presses lots of buttons for me – all good ones.

It is a profile about a very special person – Tim Sharp, a young man with autism who comes from my hometown of Brisbane. He has a wonderful artistic talent and has created the character Laser Beak Man. The film was directed by a friend and produced by the government department I used to work for (yes, occasionally government departments do something valuable and special).

Most importantly though, it shows (and gives me hope for my little guy) that we can all have a meaningful place in the world.

By the way, don’t you think it’s interesting that autistic and artistic and separated by only one letter.