Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow 2021!!

Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow 2021!!

Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow 2021!!

We are still buzzing from Saturday night’s wonderful show. Our performers gave it their all on stage and showing everyone what you CAN do and so well. Our amazing supporter Philip Barnett whom we all love and would like to thank personally for allowing us to use their wonderful theatre in St Ives and to all his amazing students for their wonderful performance and show of support.

It has been a tough couple of years for the charity and our families because of lockdown however, this was the first show we did in two years, and we did what we do best and celebrated the wonderful talent of the autism community on stage and the audience appreciated and were in awe at every performance. We have really missed seeing old and meeting new performers.

The best feeling our charity experience is standing at the side of the stage watching our performers nervously waiting then give the performance of their lives and come off stage beaming and proud of themselves. Kids and adults that are buzzing, and an audience feeling it with them. But they all have a story, they’ve all been prejudiced against or misunderstood.

When our performers come into rehearsals in the morning all quite shy and not sure what to expect. They leave making friends, becoming part of the AKO family, and appreciated for their worth. The audience leave with a better understanding and realise that someone’s disability is all too often an ability.

One of our performers Kieron Lee shared:

“An absolute showstopper, simply the greatest show on earth. I have been a part of Anna Kennedy Online for the best part of six years, and each time I get the opportunity to perform I have grown. I have so many difficulties that at times I have a strong feeling of doubt in myself, and every single day is a roller coaster full of different emotions (without fail), I can be sarcastic, but be so oblivious when it’s towards me, constantly restless and mind ticking!

I feel so connected with everyone that is part of this amazing project that tries to aid as much awareness for autism as possible, working constantly around the clock! For anyone that is doubting themselves, please don’t, having everyday difficulties really does push you back – but shows like this, really do make a difference for those present and future performers. I encourage you all. Last night the talent was seriously unreal, these kids are beyond their years!

For anyone that’s seen some coverage of last night show, I really encourage you to check out Anna Kennedy Online and see one of their shows, it really is an astonishing and unforgettable night.”

Dawn Avery our Charity Champion shared about her son Aston, our Charity Ambassador:

“Last night some of the amazing people that have also been on a similar path took to the stage some are only just beginning.

I felt different after all the uncertainty of the last couple of years . I missed the ones I knew should be there and I felt emotion for the ones who had only just arrived. I cannot express the emotions of every act … every performer giving their best to show their overcoming adversity. I looked in the audience at the pride.

The family’s acknowledgement of their own journey reaching something.

I looked at our fellow volunteers at Phil and at Anna … my eyes welled at I see Aston remove that jacket and tell us all his proud. It wasn’t just for him last night it was for everyone.

Today is a reflection and to each and every performer past and present to their families to the volunteers … autism really does make us proud …”

Please watch the highlights below:

Autism's Got Talent - 10 Year Anniversary Show

Autisms Got Talent 10-year anniversary show

Now we celebrate our Autisms Got Talent 10-year anniversary show will be taking place on Saturday 16th October at The Mermaid Theatre in London. Tickets available to book online Click here to book your tickets.

We are giving 5 pairs of tickets away for our 10th year AGT Birthday on October 16th at Mermaid Theatre Blackfriars!

Please email lisa.robins@annakennedyonline.com if you would like a free pair of tickets to celebrate this wonderful unmissable event!

Calling Participants!

Calling Participants!

Calling Participants!

Calling all girls on the Autism spectrum (and parents!) who are Year 6 or above in a mainstream secondary school: My research needs YOU!

I am a trainee Educational Psychologist at the Institute of Education. My research explores the experiences that girls on the Autism spectrum have in mainstream schools and any differences they may display in the home environment.

I need girls on the autism spectrum (and a willing parent for each participant) at mainstream secondary school to participate in online focus groups.
Please let me know if you are interested in participating in this research, or have any further questions.

Contact me: Carolyne.bassett.19@ucl.ac.uk

Carolyne Bassett
Trainee Educational

New Learningrose website – by Rebecca Taylor

New Learningrose website – by Rebecca Taylor

New Learningrose website – by Rebecca Taylor

New Learningrose website – by Rebecca Taylor

About Rebecca

I am the mother to a son of 16 who has autism, severe sensory modulation dysfunction and other complex needs. I am ex British Airways cabin crew and flew for over 7 years and know first-hand how important it is for safety and communication reasons that all passengers feel at ease.

In 2018, I won the Anna Kennedy National Autism Parent Carer Award as well as being the only person to be a finalist for two other categories – Lifetime Achievement award and Autism Peoples Hero award, both of which were recognised by an official certificate of achievement: https://www.autismheroawards.com/winners-2018/.

In  2019, I won the Anna Kennedy Entrepreneurial Award which was for the work I’d done with British Airways: https://www.autismheroawards.com/winners-2019/.

Our  new  website www.learningrose.co.uk  encompasses  the additional journeys we have produced so far and our app is available on the app store.  You’ll find our cards in a full card layout as well as individual flash cards. You can contact me by email at rebecca@learningrose.co.uk and on my mobile 07973-219299.

Assuring you of our best attentions in all matters, Rebecca J Taylor

About Learningrose

Learningrose provide detailed information cards; prepared for print and digital use to support travelling through the airport, the journey on board, its service and arriving at the destination. All cards are endorsed “in partnership with The National Autistic Society”

They have been designed to be multifunctional and multi-disability friendly; they work with any age to reduce anxiety and stress for the passenger by using the card or mobile app as well as other people on board. Through a mixture of words and pictures they can assist many passengers with a mental, hidden or physical disability and for passengers who may be anxious flying as well as people who may have not flown before.

British Airways have recently renewed their license to continue using the cards for a second year onboard their fleet.

The airport journey can be complimented with a variety of additional cards to help everyday encounters and experiences; in turn, providing a valuable tool for customer engagement and loyalty through wider habitual use of our or your own mobile app when not flying.

We support businesses wanting to enhance their current CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) with 3 services:

  1. Consultancy and support on all things Autism.
  2. Providing graphic + creative services for existing cards or designing new requested card experiences and journeys.
  3. Delivering ‘your own branding’, additional customisation and integration development for our own proprietary mobile app if required or supporting third party tech requirements.

CARDS ACTIVE

Airport information cards Stranger Danger Getting the Bus
Going to Supermarket COVID 19 Getting on a train
Going to a Restaurant Going for a walk in a park Going to the Opticians
Going to the Dentist  Going to the Doctor  Going to a Florist

Plus many more.

 

 

Yoga Movement Breaks for Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDA and Mental Health – an article by Giuliana Wheater

Yoga Movement Breaks for Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDA and Mental Health – an article by Giuliana Wheater

 Yoga Movement Breaks for Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDA and Mental Health

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater

Most of the children and young adults I had sessions with last week were all saying how tired they felt, and the week had dragged. With the nights slowly drawing in, transitions happening all the time and the stress of tests, it seemed to have been taking its toll.

Especially on those with different abilities or disabilities who quite often need to concentrate twice as hard to survive a school day compared to a neurotypical student.

The stress, tests and transitioning also take their toll on teachers, who are under incredible pressure also.

In 2016 alone 120 YEARS of teaching were lost due to stress.

And this was before Covid!

So, what can we do about this?

Well, wherever I go to train schools or simply share sessions I always talk about Movement Breaks.

They only need to be for five minutes and be spaced out between lessons or tasks – or even halfway through, as breathers, exercises for the body and brain, to recharge and refocus.

They are incredibly powerful and benefit everyone, teachers included.

Any “sillies” get shaken out, the breathing and body calmed, the diaphragm opened and the serotonin (neurotransmitter of happiness, confidence, and self-esteem) and dopamine (the neurotransmitter of reward, motivation, drive, focus, concentration, and attention) all encouraged up from the gut and into the brain.

These movement breaks also boost immunity and promote better sleep.

Kids with dyslexia, dysgraphia or dyscalculia will also hugely benefit along with students in wheelchairs. Neurotypical kids will also reap the rewards because they might have stuff going on at home or friendship issues or anxiety. It’s inclusive of everyone, regardless of age, ability, mobility, or neurodiversity.

The learning environment is hugely boosted for EVERYONE as a result of movement breaks. Stress and tension are eased. Attention, focus, and memory are boosted. Any aggression or overwhelm is regulated. Every school should do it regularly throughout the day.

Stand like a mountain – seated or standing. If seated, if you can put your feet flat on the floor, preferably with no shoes. If standing, ensure your feet are shoulder width apart.

Squeeze your fists as hard as you can and then either just release or fling, your tension/stress to the floor. Repeat several times.

Either seated or standing just shake all those giggles or anger or sillies out using your whole body.

Draw circles clockwise and anti-clockwise and figure eights above your head. This also helps with motor skills, coordination and balancing the brain.

Cover one nostril and inhale slowly through the other. Then block the other nostril and exhale slowly. Then repeat doing it the other way around.

Here is a link to my YouTube video demonstrating these techniques.

Have fun with them and boost those learning environments!!

See you next week,

Take care, Giuliana. 

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

 Yoga Movement Breaks for Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDA and Mental Health
 Yoga Movement Breaks for Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDA and Mental Health
 Yoga Movement Breaks for Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDA and Mental Health
 Yoga Movement Breaks for Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDA and Mental Health
Being Thankful for My Parents – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

Being Thankful for My Parents – an article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

Being Thankful for My Parents
An article by our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

*Note this is from a personal perspective

Being thankful is a term used for many different contexts, it has different meanings, associations and be it personal or professional and it can come from an emotive place deep within someone’s being and soul to take a humble acknowledgment of the foundations laid bare that I had no control of (no person does) but giving it some thought and the time to do so has made be reflect on my early years.

I was born in 1986 and my parents had now knowledge of the word “autism” for it would be many years before the word would be uses, so one must get by the frameworks and current situation in other words my parents not knowing did it hinder? Or through this did it urge them to be me more holistic, creative, and more practical in their approach towards me as a human being? I think it did.

If I would had been diagnosed it would have been of “classic” autism this wasn’t just about milestones speech, language and motor delay were noted – I was also hemiplegic, had visual perceptual disorders, face, object and meaning blindness and well as being meaning deaf and having a language processing disorder some of this partly due to being brain damaged at birth.

I lived (and still due to some degree) in the system of sensing, was tactile kinaesthetic, had pattern, theme and feel language – but my parents saw me as their child, their son and valued member of the family this speaks values not only of one’s character and the wordless observations at the time but the patience and nurture that goes with being a caregiver.

Many adjectives and observations were made the idea that I was deaf and blind, having an attachment disorder these were all perceptions (rightly or wrongly) put upon not only me but my family. The way in which my parents dealt was in a a very holistic and fluid way the expectations they had for me was simple but would later a sturdy foundation to build from “happy”.

Being Thankful for My Parents

Now that is one emotion of many they cared not for existential things, materials or hierarchy or work or education because that was something I would do on my terms, they offered the values of autonomy, the healthiness of failure as a normal part of life and the sanctity of self-exploration.

As I have grown, I have valued their company, their need for boundaries, direction and care which has built up a mutual respect but not tipping into areas of blurriness of misinformation, but all our cards are held to each other we know where we stand.

The greatest gift that many are denied from their parents and caregivers (at many times through no fault of their own – just repetition of generational patterns) is the ability to grow into one’s own connected self this is something I hold dear and treasure.

Paul Isaacs 2021

Accessibility
Author: Mala Thapar