Autism Alliance supports Anna Kennedy OBE’s petition
Autism Alliance have signed my petition and I am supporting their campaign.
They are calling for real change for autistic people and their families.Please read their policy paper.
‘Over 75% of autistic adults reach crisis point because they cannot access specialist social care.’
‘Everything is a fight -it should not be a fight’
I have signed up as a supporter.
This week on ‘All Things Autism’, Anna spoke to Dion Brown and Sean Kennedy about a recent collaboration between the Metropolitan Police Service and AnnaKennedyOnline.
The fruitful collaboration between AnnaKennedyonline and the Metropolitan Police has resulted in the recent production of the highly valuable “Stop and Search – Guidance for Autistic People,” with substantial input from autistic individuals. This document serves three crucial purposes.
First and foremost, it offers profound insights into stop and search procedures, shedding light on why police services consider it an indispensable tool for crime detection and prevention. Emphasising the utmost importance of respect and adherence to the United Kingdom’s rigorous standards, the guidance advocates for responsible implementation.
Secondly, it strives to enhance police officers’ comprehension of autism, underlining the necessity for reasonable adjustments when engaging with autistic individuals. This heightened awareness fosters more considerate and effective interactions.
Thirdly, the guidance powerfully conveys the genuine value police services place on autistic individuals. It warmly encourages them to explore diverse job opportunities within the police service, provided they meet the required selection criteria.
The impact of this guidance has been positive. Notably, it has garnered widespread acclaim and sparked a ripple effect, inspiring other police services to initiate local initiatives inspired by its contents. Autistic individuals have responded with positive feedback, with some expressing a newfound eagerness to collaborate closely with their local police service – a truly commendable achievement. Such success reinforces the path towards greater understanding, inclusivity, and cooperation between the police and autistic community.
Overall, the guidance stands as a testament to the positive influence of collaboration. It serves as an indispensable resource, fostering a harmonious and supportive relationship between the police and autistic individuals nationwide.
Should anyone wish to download the guidance, it can be found here:
Anyone who wants to know more about the many career opportunities in the Metropolitan Police Service can find more information here:
More information on the Autism Alert Card and Passport mentioned by Dion can be found here:
Leading autism campaigner, Anna Kennedy OBE has backed calls for significant improvement in diagnosis waiting times.
Anna Kennedy OBE, founder of national autism charity Anna Kennedy Online, has spoken out after the National Autistic Society sent an open letter to Rishi Sunak highlighting the lengthy waiting times for an autism assessment.
Anna has campaigned for many years on autism diagnosis and the importance of early intervention.
She said: “Promises are made however, we see little very little action.
“I’m flooded with message across social media snd through the charity about wait times for an assessment for an autism diagnosis for their children.
“Parents are complaining of waiting between two and five years for a diagnosis for their child, and it is very much a postcode lottery.”
Recently Anna read an article that in central London families were waiting over a year for just for a referral diagnosis appointment, despite waiting time guidelines of three months.
Anna says the government has yet to complete previous promises by a host of Health secretaries to officially record the waiting time figures.
Anna says she was told that their were complex reasons for the delays, including increased demand for the assessment which had increased “significantly” in the last few years due to wider awareness about autism.
More families may believe their children are on the spectrum due to charities like AnnaKennedyonline forging ahead to raise awareness and acceptance.
Anna says the access to special needs services, which includes an educational psychologist’s report and a limited amount of free speech and language therapy on the NHS, appears to vary hugely depending on what part of the country the child lives in.
Not all local authorities, health or education services provided equally strong support according to the parents she spoke to.
Waiting a long time for a diagnosis means a window for early intervention could be missed.
She added: “It has an impact on the child, it has an impact on the school, which doesn’t know what they are dealing with. It has an impact on the siblings, and obviously the family.”
While some parents Anna has spoken to over the years campaigning did avoid seeking a “label”, others told Anna of being dismissed.
In its letter to Mr Sunak, the National Autistic Society reveals an estimated 88,000 children are waiting to be assessed for a diagnois. It says: “You have the opportunity to end the autism diagnosis crisis in your Spring Statement, by allocating the urgent funding that the NHS in England needs to both increase the number of assessments carried out and tackle the backlog. No one should have to wait years for a life-changing autism diagnosis.”
When Anna asked me to write a blog for her website it really made my day.
All my life I have been bullied and now I am being bullied online as well.
I love helping people, it’s a huge passion of mine – I am autistic and struggle with communication and social interaction but I always try my hardest. I connect with Anna Kennedy on social media and I enjoy helping her share all things related to her charity and the different things I love and support. I do this because I enjoy spending time helping share the word to reach more people and raise awareness about topics close to my heart such as autism.
Over last 3 months people being unkind to me – I feel pressured, used and hurt. I didn’t realise doing a good thing could turn into something awful. Even though I can mute and block people – people seem to still be able to sign up using a different name. There doesn’t seem to be any barriers to stop this and it’s not nice.
I’ve had to come off social media because I’m very anxious and scared, it’s affecting my mental health along with made me feel terrible that I’ve let people down, the people who are kind and appreciate my help and support. I do want to be brave and not let these people get to me but it’s not easy.
I feel bad for anyone in same or similar situation to me. I wish I could do something to make social media easier, more positive and a better experience for everybody with or without autism. Technology and software is always changing so l’m sure there is a solution. I haven’t found it yet but I’m not giving up.
Inside Our Autistic Minds, hosted by naturalist Chris Packham, will air on Tuesday, February 14 at 9 pm.
Packham was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition that has now officially been absorbed into the definition of the Autism Spectrum in his early 40s. With his own story helping facilitate understanding of autism, Chris will interview others living with autism during the programme to display the range of experiences.
Anna Kennedy OBE was approached by the BBC 2 programme about one of her Ambassadors Ethan Khumalo.
Anna shares : “We are all proud that Ethan Khumalo one of our charity Ambassadors is part of this documentary and his story will be in Part 2 the following Tuesday February 21st.”
Ethan shares his experience: “It has been a different and enjoyable experience for me to be a part of the documentary.
From the process of applying for the documentary, to then filming scenes for my parts of the upcoming second episode of the show, everything about the filming process was life changing.
Meeting up with Chris Packham, who was very down to Earth, it was amazing getting to spend time with him both on and off camera during the filming days that I had with him. Alongside meeting other members of the crew, especially when I got to spend time and had some fun moments with them off camera as well.
I had so many favourite moments during the filming process of the show but I can’t really talk about those too much on here, you’ll find out why when they appear on the screen. 😅
But all in all, this was something I would have never thought of even having in the first place, I am grateful for this whole experience because I get to show how my own mind is represented and also show it to other people. I’m glad I’ve managed to do this and I can’t wait to show this to everyone who is watching on BBC2.”
Ethan has been an Ambassador for Anna’s charity for 4 years and he won a scholarship through the charity for Pineapple Performing Arts after performing on the wellknown show Autism’s got Talent.