Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Autism and Mental Health – by Austin Riley our Overseas Ambassador

Autism and Mental Health – by Austin Riley our Overseas Ambassador

Autism and Mental Health – by Austin Riley our Overseas Ambassador


The last several months have been very tough mentally, especially in Ontario Canada where I live.  We are currently in our third lockdown which seems to be never ending.   My race season start date has just been pushed back for a second time.  It has really been hard to stay positive with the situation.  

I have been able to find a few things that have really helped me cope.   I have started to do some regular exercise 4 or 5 nights a week in preparing for the race season to start.   It seems to help give me stay more positive in general and has improved the way I feel about myself. I have also been doing much more simulator racing with friends I have made all over the world.  

Even though simulator racing does not feel the same as real racing, it’s still good to do some racing even if it’s virtually.  The last thing that has really helped me get by the last several months is work.  I have been able to get out of the house and go to a job I love 3 days a week.  It gets me out of the house and allows me to see some new faces other than my parents and sister.  

All in all, I am doing ok…but I also understand that if I start to struggle, I have lots of friends and family I can reach out to that will help me.  

Austin Riley

Special Educational Provision – Who is Responsible for Ensuring it is Put in Place?

Special Educational Provision – Who is Responsible for Ensuring it is Put in Place?

Special Educational Provision
Who is Responsible for Ensuring it is Put in Place?

This video gives and overview of the law around the special educational provision contained in an EHC plan and identifies who is responsible for ensuring it is made or put in place. Many people believe it is the school or Post16 provision identified in section I of the EHC plan and this is simply not the case:-

Lived-in experiences about the frontline of a broken care system – join us online!

Lived-in experiences about the frontline of a broken care system – join us online!

Chris Wild and Ben Pearson talk of their lived-in experiences about the frontline of a broken care system

Ben and Chris

Join us on 10th June at 7pm for a talk with Ben Pearson and Chris Wild about their lived in experiences of the frontline in a broken care system.

Click here to register and book your place for this unforgettable FREE event!

Ben Pearson Autistic Entrepreneur

About Ben Pearson

“I will not be defined by my autism”

Ben Pearson, founder of BigClothing4U and Uptheir, is a serial entrepreneur with a difference.

Diagnosed with autism, Ben wants to use his platform to put an end to online bullying and break the stigma surrounding disabilities.
His latest venture has teamed him with Harvey Price to create an inclusive collection of clothing which aims to raise awareness of Harvey’s Law.

Chris Wild

About Chris Wild

Chris Wild is an author, care home consultant, government advisor, national youth advisor for young people and a charity patron for twenty charities. He is a passionate advocate and campaigner, appearing on the BBC and News night.

His first book, Damaged, told the story of his life and those of the other young children in care he met along the way.

You can find him on Twitter, where he would love to hear from you.

Please click here to register and book your place in advanced to avoid disappointment

BULLYING: How to take control by using our SUPERPOWERS! by Giuliana Wheater

BULLYING: How to take control by using our SUPERPOWERS! by Giuliana Wheater

BULLYING: How to take control by using our SUPERPOWERS!

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

Bullying is never acceptable whether it is emotional, mental, psychological, or physical.

Feeling sad, hurt, frightened, squashed, bewildered or angry are all part of the feelings you may be experiencing if you are being bullied.

It can have a long-lasting influence well into adulthood … so let us turn that into a POSITIVE impact!!

If a child or young adult is finding it hard to talk about, you can make games using superhero yoga poses, superpower breathwork techniques and powerful touch.

We have everything we need inside of us!!

I have enclosed some ideas and photos which you can just download and print, to accompany this week’s video and you can even look on the internet for downloadable yoga and breathing exercises.

Then it is Playtime!!!!!

And often with hilarious results!!

Encourage your child to rename their favourite techniques so that they can express what they feel and what they would like to do their bullies so that they can process and manage their emotions and responses.

Even if they are angry things, that is good … it is ok to be angry – and turn it into laughter.

You will find that your young person will naturally open and begin to talk, within you even needing to probe or question. It puts them in charge which in itself is incredibly empowering and floods them with serotonin and oxytocin.

Even if they do not talk at first, or are non-verbal, the happy hormones and coping chemicals will be partying around their bodies and brains and working through those negative emotions.

It is so empowering and even laughter will immediately increase the serotonin (the neurotransmitter of SELF ESTEEM, CONFIDENCE & HAPPINESS) by 16%!!!!

How amazing is that??!!

You might think that I am a bit of a crazy lady at times, but laughter has got me through so much in my own extraordinary life and there are some incredibly powerful, neuroscientific things happening ALL THE TIME when you “work” in this way.

I absolutely LOVE my job! ❤️🤸‍♂️

See you next week, take care everyone! Giuliana

Glorious Gratitude
Glorious Gratitude
A Champion’s review of a Champion’s book

A Champion’s review of a Champion’s book

“From A Tear to Here by Dawn Avery” a book review

A Champion’s review of a Champion’s book – by Beverly Ann Guest


As a Charity Champion for Anna Kennedy Online I first met the Avery’s at Autism’s Got Talent (AGT) at The Mermaid Theatre in London.  I attend this show every year, it moves me every time, and to me it’s ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’!

The year I met the Avery’s I had just organised a loan car from my workplace for the Charity’s’ upcoming AGT roadshow; which was a spin-off from this London event it was so popular!

Dawns youngest son Aston had been on stage in London receiving a standing ovation, he performed brilliantly and everyone loved him – I remember being outside the theatre afterwards with my Mother-in-Law Chris where we saw Aston and family – we were super excited to see him and let the Avery’s know how much we’d enjoyed his performance as we passed by.  We admitted to being a bit star struck having just seen him perform live on stage!

Dawn had mentioned early on to us that she was writing a book about their families journey, so having read Annas amazing book ‘Not Stupid’ I knew I’d want to buy it. I LOVE a good book, and when it’s about something your family relates to, it makes it all the more important.  I especially love seeing Dawns Aston perform song ‘Budapest’ and always call him my ‘Budapest Buddy’!

I loved seeing Aston each year, he was thriving more each time – and I also enjoyed supporting families on the day of AGT too as Dawn mentions in her book. I have too many memorable families to mention, you become instantly so proud of them – all of them have their own ‘pocket of greatness’ as I say, and all outstanding!

A Champions review of a Champions Book!

What a great book this is!  From start to finish, anyone in or involved with an autism family will feel a connection to the Avery’s journey in this lovely book.

Indeed I felt many similarities in some parts, and it was nice to actually read something that talked about some of the stuff we too went through, just like Annas book did.

If you hadn’t already known the Avery’s, when you read this book, it has a sense of holding you in such a way that you’d feel like you knew them.

The books covers are striking, standing out in an eye catching design, and when you delve in, it’s a truly lovely read, has a great writing style, and will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions.

It’s written in such a way that the reader will feel a personal connection, and gain an understanding of an autism families journey.

Dawn writes lovingly so about her boys, husband and family, and quite rightly so.  Aston not only has autism, he has other health conditions which added to their journey and quest to do whatever it takes to help and support him.

In fact it’s common for those with autism to have other and overlapping conditions, as does my son Christopher. 

Dawn has written about their journey in such a way as to show that Aston is who he is WITH various conditions, and NOT in-spite of them.  And that’s right don’t you think?!

She has been true to herself and thanked all the professionals and family, and it is clear, you can feel the warmth and love oozing from each page of the book.  An added bonus are the pages nestled in the centre with a selection of fabulous photos of Aston and family; just a snippet of his journey .. (and trust me at every event I always manage to sneak a selfie with Aston, I think he’s used to me doing that now and have a few photos .. I’m such a big fan!).

As an autism parent, it’s nice to read something you can truly relate to, where the words resonate with you.

I found myself thinking back to our own journey, as Dawns book brought back some memories for me that’s for sure.  I loved this book, it was so honest and transparent, such a clear read and would be great for anyone new to autism to get their teeth into. A must on the book list for those just starting their journey.

In fact whether you are just at the start of your journey, or .. already on the your own path, you will find something to hold dear from this book, something of true meaning to you.

Do give it a read, you can get hold of your copy of Dawns book via our Charity website link below, where you can also read about Aston, Dr Anna Kennedy OBE, all the other Ambassadors, Patrons and of course us Charity Champions!  Don’t forget you can sign up there to our Newsletter to hear about all things autism for our Charity with upcoming events, workshops and more!  Click here to purchase your copy!

Author: <span>Mala Thapar</span>