Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio – Sarah Kyle from Petra’s Place

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio – Sarah Kyle from Petra’s Place

 ‘All things Autism’ Anna’s guest this week at Women’s Radio – Sarah Kyle from Petra’s Place

Anna Kennedy’s guest this week on Women’s Radio Station was Sarah Kyle from Petra’s Place.
‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see

Thanks to Anna for inviting me on to her show to talk about All Things Autism. It’s really inspiring to hear everything she has done to raise awareness of Autism and support families.

Being a parent of two autistic sons, she understands the frustration and disappointment many families feel in finding the right support for their children, which is why she went on to set up two schools, a college and a respite home for autistic children- what an amazing lady!

Similarly, the Petra Ecclestone Foundation was set-up in 2016 to help families of children with autism and Petra’s Place Therapy Centre opened its doors on Fulham Road, London in October 2018 to offer evidence-based early intervention therapies to children between 18 months and 5 years.

Research studies identify that the four areas most commonly impacted by autism in the early years are the capacity for the joint attention, symbolic play, self-regulation and social communication. Our programmes are specifically designed to target and support development in these areas and to equip children with the preschool skills they need to help them thrive.

In September 2020 we also opened an inclusive special needs nursery which offers parents a specialised child-care solution and access to therapeutic interventions all under one roof.

It’s especially challenging for all families during this global pandemic, but especially for parents of children with special needs and autism. We are here to offer support to parents in whatever way we can and will be launching a parenting programme soon.

It was great to chat with Anna about these challenges and how important it is to take a little time for yourself as a parent, try not to beat yourself up about things you are not achieving, just getting through the day is an achievement for all parents at the moment. Be kind to yourself and find ways to look after your own metal health.


Through our blog, curated by Petra, called The Brightest Star ( and on our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook we try to encourage parents to set time aside for self-care and rest time.

Putting yourself first sometimes doesn’t come easily to parents with autistic children but pouring from an empty cup as we know doesn’t provide much substance. We have managed to build up a supportive community and love hearing their suggestions also of how they cope with everything from changing routines to meltdowns and tantrums to the challenging journey of diagnosis and setting up treatment for their children.

We feel a real affinity with parents and whether we can support them face to face at the Centre or virtually we do what we can. 

If you would like to find out more information about Petra’s Place, please visit our website and we would be happy to arrange a virtual tour.

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio were Co-founders of Acrobat-Global talk on ‘All things Autism’

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio were Co-founders of Acrobat-Global talk on ‘All things Autism’

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio were Co-founders of Acrobat-Global who spoke on ‘All things Autism’

Anna Kennedy’s guest this week on Women’s Radio Station was Joe, Zanne and Kathryn Co-founders of Acrobat-Global. ‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see

Joe, Zanne and Kathryn Co-founders of Acrobat-Global shared the following article from their radio interview:

In April 2020, Joe Butler, an education consultant with over twenty years of experience working with autistic children and young people, teamed up with published authors, trainers and English language specialists, Zanne Gaynor and Kathryn Alevizos. Their unexpected lockdown collaboration was timely as Joe now found herself supporting autistic people, and their families, schools and settings from home, and Zanne and Kathryn had had their workshops cancelled. Their book, Is that clear? Effective communication in a neurodiverse world – Autism-inspired tips for allistic (non-autistic people) was published in October 2020 by Acrobat-Global.

Prior to publication, the book was reviewed by autistic and allistic readers from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, and the autistic readers contributed their own experiences and insights. The National Autistic Society and Autism Education Trust have also endorsed the book. Speaking at the virtual book launch in November 2020, former Minister of State for Care and Support Sir Norman Lamb passionately enthused:

If we could get this to become mainstream reading within the NHS, within any public service and within employer organisations, there are so many autistic people who currently have no employment, but who could work with support and with understanding … [the book] is a massive contribution which will make a difference to people’s lives.

From her Foreword, and throughout the book, Joe stresses that every autistic person is different. The book is no substitute for getting to know the individuals in your life and finding out from, and with, them what might support and enable effective communication at different times and in different contexts. What works for one person may not work for another. The best advice is to ask (or find out) what each individual needs from you.

Joe, Zanne and Kathryn are passionate about enabling allistic people to take more responsibility for effective communication, as autistic people are already having to work incredibly hard in what can be an illogical and unaccommodating world. The layout of the book is clear, simple and accessible and each chapter offers practical advice with bulleted tips at the end for quick reference. Paperback and Kindle versions of the book are available as well as a downloadable pdf.

Joe, Zanne and Kathryn have yet to meet in person but all say their lockdown project is something positive to have come out of the challenges of the last year. The book has already proved beneficial to parents, carers, teachers, lecturers, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, medical staff, firefighters, the police, journalists, employers and those responsible for HR, and many more, including for autistic people themselves in better articulating their needs.

Everyone will know an autistic person, making this an essential read for all.

For further information about the authors, contact Joe on Twitter @SENDsupportuk or email at, or contact Zanne or Kathryn at or on Twitter @acrobatglobal.

Ben Pearson talks on ‘All things Autism in Essex’

Ben Pearson talks on ‘All things Autism in Essex’

Ben Pearson talks on ‘All things Autism in Essex’

Ben Pearson Autistic Entrepreneur Founder of Uptheir Clothing shared:

‘Being on the ‘All Things Autism in Essex’ show on Gateway 97.8 was a fantastic experience. My goal is to inspire others with autism to have the confidence to achieve their dreams, and if my story and advice from my appearance helps just one person, I’ll be extremely happy.

As someone with autism, appearing on the radio can be quite nerve wracking. However, Anna and Aston Avery were brilliant at easing any nerves and allowed me to speak freely about my experience of being an entrepreneur with autism and the launch of our anti-trolling t-shirt collection with Harvey Price.

Harvey’s Law Collection
We have partnered with Harvey Price to create anti-trolling slogan t-shirts to raise awareness of Harvey’s Law.

Ben Pearson Autistic Entrepreneur

Available in sizes XS – 8XL, the Harvey’s Law t-shirt collection is widely accessible to all, regardless of size or gender.

With 6 eye-catching designs created in collaboration with Uptheir and Harvey Price, each t-shirt has a printed slogan to the chest promoting Harvey’s Law and speaking out about online trolls.

Click on the following link for more details:

Ben Pearson Autistic Entrepreneur
Autism show – January 2021

Autism show – January 2021

Autism show – January 2021

On 8th January marked the first autism show for 2021 and Aston and Anna Kennedy OBE spoke about the impacts of lockdown and also had exciting guests on.

Anna had this to say after the show: “What a great start to 2021 Talking ‘All things Autism in Essex’ with Aston. We packed in so much information this show and we had two fantastic autistic role models Ben Pearson and Tess Eagle Swan and the gorgeous Kratu a rescue and assistance dog.

 Autism show – January 2021

Ben shared ‘He will not be identified by his autism. He is the founder of Big Clothing 4 U and Uptheir clothing. He is using his platform to put an end to online bullying.

His latest venture is working with Katie Price and our Charity Antibullying Ambassador Harvey Price creating an inclusive collection of clothing which aims to raise awareness about ‘Harvey’s Law’.

Click here for details of Big Clothing 4 U, stand up, speak out and show your support for Harvey’s Law.

Click here to listen to the podcasts and please watch the video below of All Things Autism In Essex!

Tess shares Kratu is the unlikely underdog who touched hearts worldwide.

They are both Advocates for autism, mental health and ‘Be Kind like Kratu’.

Tess shares ‘Anna has been an inspirational influence in our lives since we first met her online.

Getting to know her, performing on Autism’s got Talent, being able to be heard, radio interviews, articles written, sharing that meant do much.

She gave us the chance to have a voice, be validated and accepted.

Looking forward to February’s show Stay Safe ,Stay Strong and Keep going everyone.”

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio – Felicia from Jesse’s Place Foundation CIC

Anna’s guests this week at Women’s Radio – Felicia from Jesse’s Place Foundation CIC

 ‘All things Autism’ Anna’s guest this week at Women’s Radio – Felicia from Jesse’s Place Foundation CIC

Anna Kennedy’s guest this week on Women’s Radio Station was Felicia from Jesse’s Place Foundation CIC. ‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see


Felicia Olusola Folarin-Ogunde is the Founder/Director of Jesse’s Place Foundation CIC shared:

It was a great pleasure being on the ‘All things Autism’ show with Anna Kennedy. I must have told the whole world and its wife! I always feel ‘at home’ anytime I am in the company of women who I have things in common with – especially if it’s our autistic children. I have know about Anna for a number of years as I follow her on Twitter where I enjoy reading about her work and her family – especially her two sons.

I am glad I was able to share part of my life journey as a mum to an autistic teenage son, as well as sharing a bit about being a senior education practitioner and my work as the founder of Jesse’s Place Foundation.

Even though I have known about autism many years before the birth of my son, nothing can prepare you for the actual reality of a diagnosis and everything that comes with raising an autistic child – who is also diagnosed with global development delay.

Having said this, my journey as an autism mum has made me resilient, courageous and determined as I continue to be ‘intentional and deliberate’ in my parenting towards my son – Jesse.

Jesse, is beautiful inside and out, he is a loving and endearing son who has an ear for rhythm and music and is also a wonderful gymnast. He is my inspiration for setting up Jesse’s Place Foundation.

He continues to inspire me to dig deep and find that strength to do things for him and other families. Honestly speaking, helping other families has ‘an almost’ therapeutic feeling which just keeps encouraging me to continue to do more.

Jesses Place

Our aim at Jesse’s Place is to empower many families so they can be in the position to do their best for their autistic children. As Jesse’s parents, my husband and I have made sure that he is at the centre of everything we do.

As his parents, myself and his dad are his advocates. So also are his brothers who are quite protective of him. We want to ensure that Jesse is always meaningfully engaged and that he gets the best out of life.  

The fact that he has a disability should not limit him or lower our expectations of him. Though we know we must also to be realistic. The aforementioned is one of the ‘main drivers’ for Jesse’s Place Foundation.

Many parents in the UK are not able to tackle issues concerning a suitable school setting for their autistic children, many also have difficulties with the autism assessment process; they experience problems with obtaining an EHCP and they face problems with contact and dialogue with social services.

Some parents also feel ‘intimidated’ by authorities and need an advocate to support them through the various formal and sometimes daunting processes they go through when seeking support for their special child. This is the case with many parents we support.

Although Jesse’s Place Foundation is not set up as an exclusive BAME organisation, I am in a ‘unique position’ to work with African families for a number of reasons.  This is because I was born in the UK by Nigerian parents; I am an experienced senior education practitioner, a practising Christian and also a mother to a child with a disability.  I also lived in Nigeria from age three to age eighteen.

All these experiences has equipped me to understand the cultural and religious barriers African families with autistic children face, both within their extended families and within their communities. I see the ability to support families from whatever background they come from as a honour and an opportunity to share my wide experience with them.

It was also good to talk about a new initiative for children with special needs and disabilities  which I recently became a part of as their newly appointed SEND Director.

This is a project known as The Anchor SENDfriendly Centre (TAS) which will be opening early next year. TAS is a classic story of parents of children with special needs who couldn’t find any extracurricular service suitable enough to meet the needs of their children so they decided to set up a fit for purpose and enriching provision themselves!  

After some thorough research, we have discovered that there really isn’t a centre like TAS and the vision is not to stop at just one centre but replicate it across London.

The TAS centre, which is for children and young adults between the ages of 0 – 25 years, is a multi-sensory provision which will also incorporate services such as breakfast and after school club, as well as Saturday and holiday clubs.

The facilities available include an interactive state of the art sensory and immersion room; specialist music provision, outdoor activities on and off site and much more. We will be also be collaborating with affiliates to deliver activities and bespoke experiences to our special children and young adults.

TAS aims to deliver services which will achieve the best outcomes for our children and young adults with special needs and disabilities.

During the course of my interview with Anna, I was able to reiterate, what many organisations as well as Jesse’s Place have observed during lockdown which is the importance of authorities understanding the difficulties that families of children and young adults are going through during these unprecedented times.

Covid19  has exposed failings within services for many families of children with autism. Families with autistic children and young adults continue to feel isolated and their health and wellbeing impacted. Undiagnosed children now have longer waiting periods from assessment to final diagnosis.

These services definitely fell terribly short during lockdown and these failings need to be addressed. I was able to share with Anna how Jesse’s Place supported parents and professionals through a number of virtual workshops which included focuses on creating enabling learning environments for autistic children and the importance of therapy.  

My experience as a mother and an educational practitioner has taught me that every child matters, regardless of whether that child has a disability or not. Our children with special needs deserve the best we can offer. Every child or young adult with special needs deserves to be given what they need to be successful.

I want to thank Anna for working hard to raise the profile of autism within the United Kingdom and for reaching out to other organisations and individuals in a joint effort to keep the momentum going and also ensuring that autistic children and young adults as well as their families are heard. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking on this show and couldn’t believe how quickly the hour went!

Please visit our website on:

Also TAS can be reached at: or