Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Why We Need to Start Looking at Autism as a Fruit Salad – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

Why We Need to Start Looking at Autism as a Fruit Salad – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

Why We Need to Start Looking at Autism as a Fruit Salad – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

It’s 2021 and its time to start looking at autism in a more three-dimensional approach, it’s time to bridge gap and accommodate both the social and medical models of disability (in the context of autism). The Fruit Salad Analogy was created by Donna Williams (Polly Samuel) in 1995. 

So, let’s get to the basics of information processing challenges

  • Aphasias (language processing, expressive & receptive)
  • Agnosias (awareness of your senses and perception)
  • Apraxias (fine and gross motor coordination) 
  • Metabolic (heart, brain and blood vessels)
  • Gut (gastro-intestinal, IBS & leaky gut) 
  • Auto-Immune (systemic, organs & blood)
  • Seizure (brain electrical activity)

Then there are mental health challenges (with examples) 

  • Anxiety (OCD, social anxiety & exposure anxiety)
  • Mood (depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia) 
  • Impulse Control (skin picking and hair pulling)  
  • Dissociative (derealisation, depersonalisation & dissociative identity disorder)  
  • Attachment (reactive attachment disorder)
  • Psychosis (hallucinations & delusions) 

The common pieces of someone’s autism “fruit salad” are 

  • Social emotional agnosia (not perceiving body language facial expression or tone of voice)
  • Face blindness (not perceiving or bonding with facial association) 
  • Alexithymia (not perceiving one’s own emotional states or frequencies)
  • Simultagnosia (not perceiving the visual “world” as a whole)
  • Dyspraxia (has an impact on one’s ability to navigate space, depth and tactile association)
  • Language Processing (can fall to two basic domains expressive and receptive)
  • Communication Disorders (may impact the whole body and/or the speech organs)
  • Identity & Personality (may have co-existing personality disorders which impact on the person’s overall functioning and presentation)
  • Exposure Anxiety (in which a person’s nervous system is on a “hair trigger” when awareness of “self” causing fight, flight or freeze and self-responses)


There are so many inaccurate and quite frankly celebrity and bias theories about what autism is and isn’t, but the truth of the matter is that autism is not a static condition that presents itself in the same way from person to person – it is a clustering of conditions that can be found in both neurology and biology. 

If with have a healthy mindset of sharing useful and productive information and broaden the narrative to include – education, care homes, parents, social services, parents, and people on the spectrum then it creates a solid environment for meaningful changes that have real impact on people’s lives.

Paul Isaacs 2021


Your Breath Is Your Superpower!! by Giuliana Wheater

Your Breath Is Your Superpower!! by Giuliana Wheater

Your Breath Is Your Superpower!!

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

Your Breath Is Your Superpower!!

It really IS!!!

Your breath can alter mood, help you sleep better, lower heart rate and blood pressure as well as open up the lungs and push all those totally delicious happy hormones and coping chemicals up from the gut!

And it is free!! As well as being a handy tool to keep in your self-regulation / anxiety boxes. When our diaphragms are open, we breathe much deeper, this preventing panic or anxiety attacks. It also means we are much less likely to reverse breathe which is what people who are under long term trauma or stress can do. By adjusting the breath, we can boost mood, productivity, drive and focus as well as empowering ourselves as we push that utterly gorgeous and all-important serotonin and dopamine up from the gut. Blood and oxygen also zoom up to the brain, bringing clarity and concentration.

We can also use our breath to lower our energy, ground ourselves, prepare for sleep and to calm down our busy bodies and brains! You can have great fun with younger kids or with those who find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time by putting the different breaths into stories, games, treasure hunts or lucky dips.

Have a wonderful week everyone, take care of each other, Love Giuliana xx


Your Breath Is Your Superpower
Your Breath Is Your Superpower
Yoga for trauma and anxiety
Your Breath Is Your Superpower
Your Breath Is Your Superpower
Your Breath Is Your Superpower
Your Breath Is Your Superpower
Your Breath Is Your Superpower
Autism – an article by Bex Moore

Autism – an article by Bex Moore

Autism – an article by Bex Moore

Hello there. My name is Bex – I am 28 years old and I live in England with my parents. I was diagnosed with autism at the beginning of my twenties. At the same time, I was diagnosed with Jacobsen Syndrome a rare chromosome disorder (11q deletion) and polycystic kidney disease. 

All through my life and still now I feel like the odd one out and I do not fit it. Even though I am 28 I have never felt like an adult. I struggle to process and understand a lot of things, I find it hard to make friends and I get obsessed with things a lot too. I have been told by many people I see the world and do things much more differently to everyone else. Sometimes I do not even think I am from earth. 

Many people say I do not look, sound, or act autistic and there is nothing wrong with me. I have never ever felt accepted and believed both in my own family and out in the rest of the world. This is something that really upsets and hurts me especially as it is some of my own family saying these things to me.

 I have a blue disabled badge but when I get out of the car, I do get many strange looks because I do not have a wheelchair or any type of aids, I do not have a limp either. 

What I do have is 2 badly deformed and very painful feet which have been operated on many times, one of my toes has been removed too. I have 2 badly dislocated, fused, and painful elbows along with heart problems.

 A few times people have come across to our car but thankfully my Mum and or Dad have been there to help me. 

A few people have said to me it is not very obvious something is wrong with me and if I had something to show that I have a disability and autism it would be much easier to believe and accept me. 

When my Dad shared with me the sunflower lanyards I was of course delighted and really grateful there was something to wear to help me show I have autism. Unfortunately, since wearing my lanyard I have had many stressful and sad experiences because of funny looks, people whispering to each other, and I’ve seen nobody is bothered I’m wearing a lanyard either and doesn’t seem to be aware I may need extra help and support….

 My biggest worry here is if they do this to me, they will do it to other people which breaks my heart. I have heard many stories about people mis using the sunflower lanyards which really spoils it for people who have genuine disabilities. On a more positive I have heard many positive stories as well which I am over the moon about too.  

Thank you for reading.


Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio were Melanie Leahy and Julia Caro

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio were Melanie Leahy and Julia Caro

Anna’s guests this week on ‘All things Autism’ at Women’s Radio were Melanie Leahy and Julia Caro

Anna Kennedy’s guest this week on Women’s Radio Station were Melanie Leahy and Julia Caro dropped in for a chat about Matthew’s campaign. The campaign for a full STATUTORY PUBLIC INQUIRY into Essex Mental Health Services (both in the community and in hospitals).

‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see

Melanie shared:

Melanie’s son Matthew Leahy was just 20 when he died whilst in state care, in November 2012.  Matthew had been sectioned for his own safety and was dead within 7 days. Since his passing, his mother has been on a journey for truth. To find out what went so desperately wrong that her only child would die.

Despite multiple investigations and reviews over the last ten-year period Melanie says she still is no closer to the truth. Those documents have gone missing, documents have been falsified, important evidence destroyed. That staff have never been interviewed under oath and nobody has been held to account for any wrongdoing. Worse of all Melanie says that throughout this ten-year battle, others have continued to die.

Julia shared:

Julia’s son, Chris Nota just 19, being another unexpected, needless death in Summer 2020.  This was the second loss for Julia, who had also lost her brother in her teens under similar circumstances.

“Multiple deaths under a failing mental health system continue needlessly – not just in Essex, but across the nation. “

“We really want to see this area of medicine move into line with state-of-the-art science and create safe and good outcomes.  We can do this by looking back on the failings made in recent years in both hospitals and the community. Both needing a clear and honest investigation, where we can confront preventable issues which must now be openly acknowledged. We believe that the knowledge is now there and that we can revolutionise this dark, dusty area and prove that good outcomes and safety are not an impossible dream”.

Julia and Melanie both shared:

“Nadine Dorries, Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention has commissioned a limited independent inquiry into hospital deaths, in a limited area within Essex.  This inquiry has no power to compel witnesses to attend or power to call for documentation to be produced. We can move no further forward unless it becomes a full statutory public inquiry and brings in community mental health services too.”

Julia and Melanie met through Matthews Campaign and their joint realisation that SEND is very much at the heart of the issues that have been faced in Essex.

“The SÉND failures that many have experienced are leading to too many of our children going into an adult mental health service – that is not fit for purpose.”

“We need the support of our community now to change this.”

“The SEND world has responded with great support for Matthew’s campaign and have told us that we must succeed. It is such a huge responsibility that we take so seriously.  We have appreciated their support and solidarity as we have pushed for this inquiry.”

“We must have a STATUTORY PUBLIC INQUIRY into Essex Mental Health Services commissioned without further delay.”

“Please support Matthews campaign by signing and sharing our petition – to help us raise national awareness and remind the Government that we will continue to call for the Truth, Justice and Accountability needed to lead to meaningful change within mental health services in Essex and across the nation.”

Melanie Leahy and Julia Caro

Please sign Julia and Melanie petition:


Our kids are dead or damaged – we fight to save yours. Raped, abused, murdered, drugged, ….in modern day UK. It must be stopped NOW !”

Please help by adding your name. Our goal is to reach 100,000 signatures and we need more support.

You can read more and sign the petition here:


Melanie & Julia

Link to Julia Caro and her charity website: Send The Right Message

Connect with her on Social Media

Link to Melanie Leahy #matthewscampaign website: Cure Mental Health

Connect with her on Social Media

Bigotry Starts At Home – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

Bigotry Starts At Home – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

Bigotry Starts At Home – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

The psychology all bigotry is I believe were we need to start in one’s understanding of the bigger picture of what is going on, if we look a person’s caregiving and social environment at an early age – their core belief systems and how they have internalised information with regards to difference  and how it then perceived as a person develops.

The basics of what a caregiver supplies their children

  • Psychological support and guidance
  • Emotional awareness and extraction
  • Understanding and filtering of Interpretation of the world (people, places, ideas and concepts)
  • Belief Systems of Others
  • Belief Systems of Self

Bigotry Is Learnt Not Innate  

The reduction and dehumanisation of person based on negative association with difference can be based on habitual, psychological belief system for the caregiver themselves and or the person’s environment, this is not only projection (of a false belief) but on a unconscious level and communication that the person is running on the actions of perceived self rather than connected.

This can cause what I call a generational over-hang between each new generation in which ideas and thus actions of bigotry are understood, internalised and objectively and rationally reasoned out. It can be a slow process but if the person is willing to self-reflect on their own artificial bias’ this can hopefully break the cycle.

The Origin Is The Key 

When a human being is born we are thrust into a world of  pre-existing and overwhelming ideas that are sadly ego driven, however a baby nervous system is “naked” to this specific type of filtering and understanding. It is from this that human beings whom at upon “othering” as a normal are learnt and taught these behaviours through their psycho-social environment. 


By recognising this simple but profound fact that no one is born is born with an idea of hate or division is the way in which we further look upon the human race as collection of people that is non-hierarchal an if judgements are to be made it must be in rational, objective and balanced way.

Be the change you want to see.

Paul Isaacs 2021

Author: <span>Mala Thapar</span>