Timay the Turtle is a story written by Richard Habelrih, a young man on the autism spectrum. Richard transforms his experiences growing up with constant bullying into a story that inspires friendship and inclusion.
Originally presented to children as a puppet show, Timay the Turtle has been re-imagined into an endearing animation with a powerful anti-bullying message.
Timay knows he doesn’t quite fit in but is confused why. He cannot understand why he finds life so hard. Whether it be in the ocean or on land, Timay struggles to fit in and make friends.
Rejection after rejection teaches Timay and his friend Danny, lessons in leadership and that there is empowerment in kindness.
Timay learns it’s ok to be different, and that all it takes is one person to step up and form a true-blue connection that will lead tons to spark a valuable friendship.
The story is re-created by script-writer Sarah Hope and lovingly produced by Maitree House. All the voice over artists, and many of the illustrators, are on the Autism Spectrum.
Children, adults and families living with autism will tell you that being included in everyday life can be a challenge.
Without realising it, or meaning to, invisible walls can be created in social activities with our friends on the spectrum, through lack of understanding.
Confusion around language, communication and social interpretation are the most common. Autistic children (and adults) may need extra effort processing and expressing their thoughts and feelings. A few other characteristics may include speech impairment, sensory overload, or difficulty regulating emotions.
In reverse, neurotypical children without meaning to, may misinterpret behaviour difficulties or missed social cues of their peers on the autism spectrum.
In simple terms, autistic people read people differently, and neurotypical people read autistic people differently. True intentions can be lost or misread.
Awareness and education of these challenges create patience, understanding and compassion. Knowledge provides space for those on the spectrum to adjust to their environment and enhance connection with their peers.
This valuable guide is researched and written by Emily Hanlon, Clinical Psychologist, BA Arts (Psychology). PostGradDip (Psych). Mpsych (Clinical). Assoc. MAPS
It’s a classroom resource for teachers to help explore the themes of kindness, leadership, acceptance of diversity. To create education, awareness and understanding. A platform for developing strategies and methods for autistic and non-autistic students, workmates, and our wider community to foster connection and acceptance.
Fun, engaging and touching animation valuable to schools, and communities.
Bonus resources written by a clinical psychologist and backed with research.
Written based on real life experience with autism by Richard Habelrih
Supports artists with autism to pursue their talents.
Autism MATES strives to make a positive impact to those living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
MATES is an acronym for Mates Assisting To Engage Socially.
Autism MATES is based in Australia: We are Australian, and Australia’s DNA is built on the values of ‘mateship’. This doesn’t stop at those with ASD.
Timay the Turtle and Autism MATES work towards shifting the perspective of Autism and encouraging friendships and inclusivity in our education system and greater society.
That was the speech that started the conversation at our schools! Richard you have brought so much to Star Club... thank you thank you thank you. The children are waiting to have you visit again.
Richard and his work is a gift to our community.
You continue to amaze me. Richard you are an inspiration to many. Keep up the good work.
Richard is truly an amazing human being and so inspirational.
FANTASTIC, Richard! You are making such a difference in this world and I think you have found your purpose.
The animation is available for schools and interested parties to purchase as a digital download coupled with a valuable resource in the form of workbook to help schools reinforce the themes presented in the animation.
At Autism MATES we focus on empowerment. We strive for acceptance and hold events that put our autistic community front and centre on stage to advocate for themselves and their peers; we help to develop self-esteem and confidence while educating the wider community. We are visible, we are inclusive and we invite you to join us in our vision.