Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Mindfulness for meltdowns

Mindfulness for meltdowns

Mindfulness for meltdowns


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

The exams are over, and I have to say I am just BURSTING with pride at how all of this particular 2022-year group have navigated it all through such unbelievably challenging times.

For our autistic and neurodivergent young people I am even prouder as, in my opinion, mainstream exams bring out the best in nobody, even neurotypical kids; they just create box tickers and finishers; not learners ready to explore and be curious.

For our neurodivergent kids, it is like taking their exams in Japanese, especially as many of them have gone through this whole process without a diagnosis or an EHCP due to the 3–5-year average waiting lists.


Funnily enough many of the young people I have seen since the exams have finished have been either feeling flat, emotionally numb, or very tearful, and many have had absolute meltdowns.

All behaviour is communication and our young people really have been pushed to the absolute limit on every level.

So here are three very simple mindful exercises to use when you feel that meltdown or overwhelm building inside you.

If your child has already hit meltdown, use these exercises once they have calmed down. Do not do them while they are in that state of “high arousal.”

By doing these regularly, self-awareness is developed: that awareness of things building and how they are feeling.

Self-regulation will then follow as once they are aware that a meltdown is building, they can bring themselves fully to the very present moment by doing one of more of the exercises I have shared today.

Eventually they will be able to self-manage those big emotions. These exercises are wonderful for us all, whatever our label – and anyone can do them, so they are fully inclusive of all abilities.

Have a great week everyone. Take good care of yourselves and each other. Lots of love, Giuliana xx

Mindfulness for meltdowns
Mindfulness for meltdowns
Mindfulness for meltdowns
Mindfulness for meltdowns

Take a deep breath

Take a deep breath 


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

The exams are over … hooray!!! However, we still continue to live in a crazy world. So, we need to literally take a deep breath from time to time.

Mindful yoga breathing techniques are an actual superpower on so many levels.

In the exercises I have shared this week we are working on the heart, the gut and the gut-brain axis which are MASSIVELY important for our mental health.

By breathing deeply, we increase the blood and oxygen to the brain. This actually decreases by 40% when we panic, have an anxiety attack, or hyperventilate.

The heart is proven to be the control mechanism to health.

Stress is proven to be the control mechanism to ill health on all sorts of levels.

These breathing exercises will ease anxiety, stress, PTSD, and insomnia as well as boosting the enemy of stress: nonadrenaline.

No adrenaline floods us with focus and positivity.

Serotonin for self-esteem, happiness and confidence is pushed up from the gut and into the brain. Dopamine for perspective, drive, attention and feeling on top of the world loves a good party more than anything else and this is also being pushed up to the brain!

The Blood and oxygen intake to the brain are boosted, stimulating focus and clear thinking.

If you have a child or you yourself are autistic, have ADHD, ADD or PDA, just turn the breathing exercises into a story or tale about what their passion is. This will engage them far more than trying to force them to sit down and “do breathing exercises “.

I snow you how to do this in this week’s video.

Regular mindful breathing changes our brains too!!

The grey matter around the amygdala/ emotional brain / fear centre actually DECREASES and the grey matter around the prefrontal cortex / higher brain functions/ rational brain actually INCREASES!!!

Just amazing!!

So, take care everyone, Have a good week. Lots of love, Giuliana xx

Take a deep breath

Take a deep breath

Take a deep breath

Autism and anxiety by Paul Isaacs

Autism and anxiety by Paul Isaacs

Autism and anxiety – an article from our Ambassador Paul Isaacs

Often people may ask what is anxiety? People have different thresholds, strategies, internal somatic experiences, and interpretations of what words means to them.

Some when breaking down the different types of anxiety we can explore the different potential experiences that are going on.

  • Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder – in which person may be avoidant of social activities and/or deeply analyse their perceived faults.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – in which person repeats actions (movements, songs, checking) to “feel safe” this experience is usually temporary and short term
  • Exposure Anxiety – in which person’s nervous system is triggered by awareness of self that leads to compulsive reactive retaliation responses
  • Analysis Paralysis – in which person may overthinking multiple strands of information and not coming to decision and/or looking at too many variables.

So, when we look at autism and anxiety, we must take time understand what type of anxiety is present, what triggers the person’s nervous system and taking into account their information processing, language processing, mentalising and learning styles when supplying information to them.

Paul Isaacs 2022


Mindfulness for meltdowns

Five simple ways to release anxiety

Five simple ways to release anxiety through yoga breathing, movement, and touch 

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

Well, the sun is out in the UK and the exams are over.

However mental health is still massively and frighteningly on the rise. Many of us are barely hanging on by a thread.

This week I am sharing with you five simple yoga breaths, movement, and touch techniques to help release stress and anxiety, to combat the enemy of the brain -myelin- which is produced when we are under long term anxiety or stress, and to get those happy and coping neurotransmitters reaching for their party hats again.

These simple exercises will ground you, bring you to the present moment and stimulate all four of those major neurotransmitters which help us to cope and function. These neurotransmitters are needed for self-esteem, happiness, confidence, clear thinking, perspective, good judgment, better sleep, motivation, and focus, as well as for stimulating our emotional intelligence – bringing our rational brains to the forefront.

They are inclusive of everyone and can be self-administered discreetly at any time, so very empowering.

It is so important to have the tools we need whenever those horrible anxious feelings start to build.

So, look after each other as well as yourselves.

Be kind always because you never know if you are someone’s last hope or if they have no hope at all.

We are in this together.

Lots of love, Giuliana xx

Five simple ways to release anxiety

Mindfulness for meltdowns

Relaxing neck massage to combat stress

Relaxing neck massage to combat stress 

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

Relaxing neck massage to combat stress and release delicious relaxation and dopamine … perfect for exams

Hello everyone! I hope you had the most gorgeous Jubilee celebrations and enjoyed the long sunny bank holiday weekend!

Well, we are almost at the halfway mark with the exam period!! I for one cannot wait to see the back of it. This one size fits all system in my opinion benefits very few anyway and I am full of admiration for this year group going through it after enduring covid and all the rental health issues it has exacerbated.

This week I am sharing some very easy neck massage techniques which you can use on a friends and family basis, as a therapist as part of your sessions or for yourselves on an as and when needed basis.

The only contraindication is if you have or are recovering from cancer, due to the lymph which could carry the nasty cells.

Otherwise, these absolutely delicious and simple techniques will not only push the blood and oxygen to your brain to boost concentration and focus, but it will also surge they glorious neurotransmitter dopamine up the vagus nerve and into your brain.

Dopamine as you know I would the neurotransmitter for attention, motivation, the feeling of reward, feeling able to cope and function as well as clarity of thought, focus and productivity.

Stretching the neck also brings us back into the present and releases any aches, pains, stress, or tension build up.

These techniques are discreet as well as easy and can be self-administered even during an exam.

I am thinking of you all and sending you all the positivity I can during this time.

Take care of yourselves. Love, Giuliana

Relaxing neck massage to combat stress

Mindfulness for meltdowns

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

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

We are now really in the thick of the exam season and we need to look after our children’s and young people’s mental health more than ever before.

This year group have had so much learning missed; social and emotional growing missed out on and have had the brunt of the consequences of Covid.

Many are having to sit their exams WITH Covid.

The pressure on them and their teachers is enormous.

Our neurodiverse children do not forget already have much higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies since birth and are already 2-6x more likely to pick up a mental health issue. We need to be proactive rather than reactive in helping them to self-manage and self-regulate during this incredibly stressful time.

This week I have shared a few facial massage tips which can be shared on a friends and family basis, shared by therapists in their sessions or be self-administered.

They are very discreet and can even be used during the exams themselves when you feel they overwhelm building.

All the main four neurotransmitters are stimulated with the strokes, releasing love, nurture, clarity, focus, concentration, attention, feeling able to cope and function, as well as levelling out mood and aggression and helping us to feel calm. It will also promote deeper and more restful sleep – vital before such important exams and all the pressure they carry.

I am honestly thinking of you ALL.

Take care this week and keep that huge, long Summer in your mind as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lots of love, Giuliana

Self-facial massage for exam stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Mental Health and wellbeing Campaign