Author Archive

AUTISM’S GOT TALENT 10th BRTHDAY ROADSHOW !

AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING !!!!!!!

What a night !! Some absolute stars in the making ….

Happy Tenth birthday !!

I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder to be part of something so infinitely special.

Each show seems to get better and better , with many of the performers going on to get spotted or signed up by producers, people from the music industry or theatre.

This first part of the roadshow hosted by the incredible Phil Barnett of Kidz R Us , based at the St Ives Theatre in Cornwall, on 2 October 2021 was an absolute roof raiser.

These adults do all their work on  purely voluntary basis because like me, they BELIEVE !!!

They scoop up all that potential, grow “deficits” and “disorders (which are actually just differences – and often positive differences at that ) into the most unimagineable gifts, strengths and talent like you wouldn’t believe .

 

No one can buy ANY tissues from St Ives right now …Sorry, its all my fault.

 

I was not only there as a bursting with pride ambassador for AnnaKennedyOnline but to support one of the acts, Lauren Lovejoy, who has not only had to fight through the challenges that autism can bring but she has also survived the most horrific bullying. Her voice lifted the roof and I even had goose bumps in my hair. Her powerful deep soul voice NEEDS to be heard worldwide.

Kieron Lee was another young adult who has overcome so much and despite his huge nerves, his voice raised people to their feet and his delivery was as if he was born to perform on stage. I know he will go far. I feel it with my everything.

 

Jessi Kay at just 17 , and performing for the first time , was just a knock out, with the voice of angel.

 

Aston Avery, a previous winner of the National Diversity Awards, host of his own radio show, who daily busts the myths and ignorance  surrounding autism not only sang but treated us all to yet another gift … tap-dancing !!

 

I could go on and on …..

 

The next show is at The Mermaid theatre in London on 16th October 2021.

For any of you who are neurodiverse, ,for any teachers, doctors, therapists, or any other professionals as well as families who feel they have no hope, PLEASE GO AND SEE WHAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE CAPABLE OF !!

 

It is not just a show – it’s an education. I wish all teachers could go along as part of their teacher training. We need a chat Boris Johnson…..

 

Not everyone has a superpower , even neurotypical people. But we all have something that we are good at, something which lights us up and helps us to sing our songs.

 

Our special kids have SO MUCH to offer, They are different but never ever less. Once you take the time to tap into their gifts and strengths, which we all have inside us regardless of labels or challenges ,that”deficit”, that “disorder”, that “disability” becomes a different and powerful strength.

 

One young lad, Tarrin, who is absolutely misunderstood at school, has found his place, his family, in the theatre with Phil at Kidz R Us . When he came on stage to do his solo performance , he had to stand and look back at his name in lights behind him in disbelief and he just kept saying ” That’s ME !! Thats my name !!” Every single child and young adult there who knew him just began stomping their feet and clapping in unison, yelling “Tarrin ! Tarrin ! Tarrin ! ”

That powerful , united energy of children supporting children, believing in each other, being accepted and finding where they belong, was so unbelievably moving.

At the end of Tarrin’s performance, Phil was just shaking his head and saying “If only your teachers could see you now” as Tarrin had said that at school “no-one understands me”.

That for me said it all.

 

Studio 4, a choreographer dance group just stunned everybody with their absolutely powerful and flawless contemporary dance routines which covered really current issues including the recent high school shootings in America. This inspirational and inclusive group fully embrace and grow children and young adults with neurodiversities.

Again, this is one adult believing in them … and as I’ve often said, it only takes one adult, one pebble on the path of life, to change the whole future for a child.

 

I was also called – much to my surprise and shock ( I actually asked Phil if I’d done something wrong !!!!) to talk about my therapy work with children, as I had had the most immense honour of meeting the children backstage before the show to talk them through some calming but focusing therapy techniques (which I wasn’t expecting either ) and which completely made my night.

I must admit I felt like a bit of a fraud on the stage because I was just so blown away by all of the tremendous performers who have all survived such odds and adversity,prejudice and misunderstanding,. I was shrinking up there to m make myself as small as possible . But I was very touched and felt so valued…something I never think about .

 

A community that doesn’t include EVERYONE is no community at all.

Neurodiverse children grow into neurodiverse adults and they have a right to be included, to have a place at the table, to be heard and to offer gifts that are often outside of that mainstream beige box…gifts which are phenomenal and help to move our world forward.

I will be forever grateful to be a part of that and will advocate and educate until my very last breath .

If yoou missed this show you can catch up with it on Tony Mason’s Youtube channel below:

https://www,youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrVUjbiYVZU7BHICmx6uOubgg04GnE5_n

BBC RADIO SOMERSET BREAKFAST SHOW INTERVIEW 8th September 2021

SO HAPPY !!! My breakfast show interview with BBC Radio Somerset goes out Wednesday 8th September 2021 !!

I’ll be on from 7.45am !

A HUGE thank you to Jack and Clare for inviting me .

 

I’ll discuss my personal journey with autism and neurodiversity, fighting for my autistic son against seemingly impossible odds, setting up a business and writing a book,  all against a background of domestic abuse.

I’ll also be talking about my shortlisting as a role model for the National Diversity Awards 2021 out of a staggering 55,000 nominees ! ( I still can’t quite absorb it …..)

Hope you can tune in !!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0064zdb

Here is the link for anyone who missed it but who would like to catch up. This link will remain for 29 days.

Thank you for all your continued support! https://www.bb.co.uk/sounds/play/p09sng8g

 

SEN MAGAZINE ARTICLE December 2021

HUGELY honoured to be invited to write an article about my life’s journey, my autistic son, inventing and establishing a new job sharing tailored and refined therapies for children and young adults on the autism spectrum and with other neurodiversities for this highly respected and impactful magazine. I have longed to be in it for literally nine years !!  It is an absolute privilege.

 

I will be writing about setting up my business helping others whilst undergoing many dark years of domestic abuse, for which my ex husband served time, finding ways to help my son grow to his full potential in the meantime, doing everything I possibly could to fight for him and help him, whilst taking this work into schools, charities, specialist academies,teacher trainings and to people of all ages and abilities all over the world as well as getting a book deal to share my work on a global level. This along with my extensive public speaking record, most of which I have done for free just because I BELIEVE in our children, want to help raise awareness and bring true education to others. My life has happened for a reason.

 

I have also been invited to write about my shortlisting as a role model, out of 55,000 nominees, for the National Diversity Awards 2021. This part I still find incredible !

 

Never ever did I dream for one second that an ordinary woman like me , just using her life cards to build something positive ,would ever be living the life I live now. I just want to reach as many people as I can, to bring solutions, CHOICE, hope, empowerment and potential .

I am so full of gratitude.

 

This December 2021 issue is specifically about bringing complementary therapies to the world of Special Needs, to help individuals, families, carers and professionals. I couldn’t be prouder to be included .

SEN magazine has been a wealth of help and information to me both personally and professionally for YEARS so I am just SO excited to be actually featured in it.

Thank you to Denise Williams and Steve Muddiman ,Editor, for such a wonderful opportunity. I will do you proud, I promise.

 

The link to the article will be posted once it is published.

In the meantime for any of you who are not already very familiar with this highly respected and popular publication, please check out the powerful work SEN magazine does by clicking the link below .

 

http://SEN – home • SEN Magazinehttps://senmagazine.co.uk

Summer School Wellbeing Sessions for The West Somerset Academies Trust

It was so exciting, rewarding and humbling to  have been invited to run therapy/wellbeing sessions for the Free Summer school holiday activities for The West Somerset Academies Trust. I was absolutely over the moon !!

 

It was so delightful, joyous and fulfilling to share so many self help “superpower” tools and techniques along with some science and tonnes of fun with all the children,aged 9-13,many of whom had different abilities, SEN, challenges or whose families are below the breadline. Some children were there because their parents/carers had to work.

 

Everyone got involved, including staff, which was just so lovely and heartwarming . I left lots of Positive Growth Mindset activities and resources behind too for teachers to use in I.E and detentions as a positive way to manage anger, emotions and emotional/social intelligence in addition to some of the self regulation tools we shared during the live sessions.

 

It is a dream come true for me to see my work spreading to just so many schools now, helping both students and teachers alike. I really hope the children enjoyed it all as much as I did ( they were quite impressed with my headstands !) and that they’ll take what they shared with me back to school in September to build a more inclusive, motivated ,calmer and more emotionally intelligent classroom environment.

It was heart lifting to help both students and teachers alike and to see the bonds grow.

Lots of laughter had by all … pure serotonin !

It’s what I work so hard and so tirelessly for. So happy !!

 

 

AUTISM FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP : THE POWER OF TOUCH ( Part Two ! ) 1 September 2021

Following the wonderful workshop I freely shared with the amazingly hardworking Autism Family Support Group , the lovely founder, Josie Ortiz , has asked me back to do a second workshop. I had so much to share and got so excited that we ran out of time !  What fun and laughter we had whilst learning and sharing so much about the neuroscientific benefits of touch for autistic children and their families . I honestly had a ball !!

 

Josie kindly shared with me some really super positive and excited feedback following my workshop so I am delighted to be sharing Part Two on the 6th October 2021 at 1.30pm GMT.

Once agin this workshop is totally free.

To reserve your places please just go to the FB page of Autism Family Support Group.

See you there !!

 

I absolutely LOVE this work !!!!  It makes my heart FILL to help, to reach out, and to empower people through laughter and passion whilst sharing neural dynamite !

NATIONAL DIVERSITY AWARDS 2021 – SHORTLIST NOMINEE !!!!!!!!!!

Oh wow… I don’t know where to begin.

This whole week has been like walking through a dream. Nothing feels real …

Please, please don’t think I am boasting or showing off in any way because that’s not who I am . I’m just all about family and the beautiful, awesome kids and young adults I devote my life to.

For the first time in my entire adult life I feel seen and I’ve just cried bucket loads …it is such a strange and unbelievably gorgeous feeling.

I see so , SO much in others and do this work with all my heart and soul, just wanting to make a difference for children who have such difficulty in being seen, heard, having a value or belonging .

 

I’VE BEEN SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL DIVERSITY AWARDS 2021 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of you who voted for me and believe in that I do.

Thank you to all of you who have been milestones on my journey and to those of you who walked beside me when I jumped off that cliff with nothing but faith , terror , desperation, a bit of tenacity and £50 in my pocket.

My heart could burst with gratitude !

Thank you ALWAYS to Tess Eagle Swan for so kindly nominating me in the first place. Her own work with her incredible therapy dog, Kratu, is phenomenal , as is her amazing journey.

By nominating me, Tess has changed my life. My soul feels like it has somehow shifted. I have been invisible for  over two decades and she has changed that : I feel a little bit worthy – and worthwhile – for the first time.

Out of over 50,000 nominees ….how ?!?

I had to call the National Diversity Awards because I was so worried there had been a mistake and I didn’t want to post anything until I was absolutely sure.

All I hope is that this gives me a greater platform from which to fight for all these children.

I feel like a Mum to millions !!!

After my long, long and extraordinary journey, this feels beyond belief …

 

Click on the link below to see the shortlist, read about some truly inspirational people and to book tickets for the event which will be held at the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool on 4th February 2022.

https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/2021shortlist/

 

 

 

THE POWER OF TOUCH : WORKSHOP FOR THE AUTISM FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP 14th July 2021

Following all my free daily therapy and advice tips which I posted absolutely everywhere I possibly could throughout Covid and the Lockdowns, just to reach out and keep people going wherever I could, my work was picked up by the lovely Josie Ortiz of the Autism Family Support Group , a free public Facebook group with a large following.

 

I am truly delighted to have been invited to share a workshop at 1.30pm GMT with families  and anyone else who is warmly invited, on “The “Power Of Touch”, where I shall be freely sharing tools, tips, lots of  VERY exciting proven neuroscientific knowledge , as well as techniques to self administer and to share on a friends and family basis.

This will be a very empowering and I hope , inspiring, workshop because I really do adore so much sharing all the experience and expertise that I can.

 

Knowledge is power and when you feel lost or isolated, it is so important to have the tools to be able to cope, survive … and then THRIVE !!

You might not have got the journey you expected but it can still be a very beautiful, rewarding and rich experience.

We really are in this together and as a parent of three out of four neurodivergent children , who were each written off at some stage,  and yet have gone on to achieve more than I could have dreamed of, it will be a pleasure to walk with you all for a while as a real person with a real journey, and not just as a professional of 14 years specialised experience to date.

 

Places can be booked direct from Josie at the Autism Family Support Group and they are totally FREE of charge.

I look forward so much to seeing you there !

https://www.facebook.com/2142359772483561/.posts/4553979794654868/?d=n

Work Experience Student

What an honour to be asked by Ebony Jewel ,who is currently in her third year at Aberystwyth University in Wales , if she could do her work experience with me. Ebony is reading Psychology and is in the process of writing her final dissertation. I have shared work experience with lots of students from various schools  but this is my first university student. And the first time I have shared with a work experience student during a pandemic!

But in my determined world there is ALWAYS a way !

 

Even though we are still transitioning through Covid and many of my sessions are private , Ebony is still able to attend my outdoor Rainbow Kids group  sessions and all of my online workshops for free.

She is so alive and passionate and nerdy like me about all the incredible neuroscience that goes on behind my therapies that she is just a joy to share with. I was really chuffed too that she has learned information from me that she has not explored or been taught , so it is all adding to what she can bring to an extremely bright future .

I’m so taken by her crazy passion which completely mirrors my own that I am also training her up in all my therapies for free because it will really add to her understanding, knowledge and experience.

I just adore sharing with young people, seeing them find their songs and their gifts and doing everything I POSSIBLY can to help them grow to their fullest potential and SHINE like the stars they are !!

I am a very blessed and lucky lady .

ZOOM BULLYING WORKSHOP Saturday 10th July 2021

ZOOM BULLYING WORKSHOP

Date : Saturday 10th July 2021

Time : 10am – 11.45am

ZOOM LINK PRE-RECORDINGS OF THIS WORKSHOP AVAILABLE.

 

Take your mental health in hand using self massage, yoga, breathing techniques, positive mindset activities and mindfulness.

Know your RIGHTS and the LAW as well as useful, practical strategies

Bullying can and does profoundly effect lives and even cuts them tragically short.

SAY NO TO BULLYING !

 

Hosted by myself ; author, advocate , multi-award winning therapist and Charity Wellbeing Ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online Charity and my absolutely incredible, inspirational daughter, Chiara.

 

This workshop is extremely close to both of my hearts , as some of you will know, due to recent sad events.

Tragically a young lad and friend of my daughter’s, Corey, had been driven to severe anorexia by his relentless bullies.

Even when he was hospitalised they continued to make his life a total misery by making memes of him called ” stick man ” which they then shared all over social media.

On Friday 11th June 2021 Corey pulled out the drip that was keeping him alive , for the very last time, slipped into a coma and passed away leaving his family and all who loved him absolutely heartbroken.

We were all shattered.

In my fourteen years to date of doing my work, I have never “lost” anyone.

This was the first occasion and I haven’t cried so much in a very, very long time.

 

So my dedication to mental health, bullying and the welfare of our young people has increased even more  passionately!

I need to grow light, hope from this darkness and to honour the memory of a truly comical, cheeky, mischevious, creative and sensitive young man who had SO much ahead of him.

 

The cost is just £10 per person with 50% of the proceeds going to Anna Kennedy Online’s anti bullying campaign “Give Us a Break” and the other 50% going towards other charitable organisations working with young people who are being bullied. 

 

Please email me at info@therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk to book your place and to receive the Zoom link.

 

We can’t WAIT to share SO much and moreover to empower you !!!

Article for EXCEPTIONAL NEEDS TODAY/ Lone Heron publishing

I was so overjoyed to be invited by magazine publisher Amy KD Tobik , an award winning magazine editor, with more than thirty years of publishing experience  and Editor-In Chief of “Exceptional Needs Today” , to write an article about the neurological power of touch for her November 2021 issue.

 

After successfully producing an autism magazine for more than six years, Amy branched out to create “Exceptional Needs Today”, a publication that supports families at no cost to them.

 

“Exceptional Needs Today” is an innovative magazine designed to support ALL individuals in the special needs community. The publication focuses on educating and energising (two of my absolute favourite words !!) families, caregivers, educators and professionals while preparing a healthy path for the future.

Topics covered are managing diagnoses, mobility and accessibility, personal rights, educational rights, occupational therapy, resources, schools and camps, transitioning into adulthood, job opportunities, financial planning, supporting families and carers and so much more .

 

I will post the link and front cover once it is published in the November issue. But in the meantime check out Amy’s fantastic work!

https://www.exceptionalneedstoday.com