I will take a break from my Hottest 100 Classical of the Twentieth Century blogging to do a bit of advertising for a charity initiative I have dreamt up. Teecember.
For those who might be familiar with me on Twitter, they would know that I have a son on the autistic spectrum. He was diagnosed at the age of three, in a time – eight years ago – when early intervention was hard to find and support was very thin on the ground. He, his mother and I were very lucky, however, to have found an inspirational teacher in the Campbelltown area, Lee Casuscelli, who not only started a program in what is his current primary school, but has started classes that help children like mine cope better with what is a confusing world of signs, gestures and idioms that are very hard to understand and adapt to. The access visit life I have with my 11 year old is a constantly challenging, in that finding out what he likes and what he thinks is entirely predictable at times, but utterly surprising at others. There is nothing quite as beautiful as seeing a child with autism dancing when he finds something that excites every sense in his body.
In October, I was following with interest the Frocktober adventures of Kylie Mason, who was raising money for ovarian cancer research. I was chatting with her on Twitter when the idea came to me to invent “Teecember” – a chance to parade 31 Tshirts I have sitting in a drawer – many of them political, sport related and others that have some kind of cultural significance. When it came time for me to decide who to support with such an initiative, I thought the Luke Priddis Foundation. Priddis is a former rugby league player who played at one time with the Penrith Panthers, whose third son was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum – only to discover the lack of support structures for parents who have children on the spectrum in Western Sydney. Therefore, he and his wife started a foundation to provide practical solutions to those problems.
So, over the next month, I will parade my tshirt collection on the Teecember blog site I have created. Just go over there to see just what kind of wacky shirts I have collected over the years. And, click on the link to donate to the cause if you wish.