2015 Autism’s Got Talent performers announced

2015 Autism’s Got Talent performers announced

Congratulations to all the 2015 Autism’s Got Talent acts.

As ever, it’s been such a difficult job selecting the final acts for May.  We were so, so sad to say sorry to some fabulous performers but hopefully we’ll see them in future shows – never give up as Anna would say!!

We love to showcase a huge variety of performers that are out there and this year is no exception.  We have singers, dancers, drummers and bands to name a few.  In previous years we’ve had a stand-up performer, young author, acclaimed ballet dancer, opera singers to name but a few.  If you feel you know someone with an outstanding talent or you think you’d like to give it a go, apply for 2016.  Better still join us in May and see how amazing our unique show is.

At AnnaKennedyOnline we pride ourselves on showcasing the amazing talents of people from our community.  Year after year we’ve produced a show to rival any other out there, proving our point that our children and adults who are on the spectrum have so much to contribute to society.  Highlighting this and making a ‘big song and dance’ about it breaks down the barriers and educates those that don’t understand.

SO, if you haven’t been to one of our shows – what’s stopping you!!  Come and support these fantastic young performers who have taken the courageous step to making their dreams come true!

Contact Lisa at lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk to get your order form today!


My Aspie Journey and Big Dream

by David Ellams BSc (Hons)

(Co-Founder and Director ofYoga4Autism.org)
logo.fw_1When I first started on this Journey two years ago, it was my Dream to help as many people as
possible who have Autism and Special Needs (i.e. Down’s Syndrome, Dyspraxia), to live happy,
fulfilling lives, to their full potential without any limitations. I wanted to promote healthy natural
ways of doing this, without the use of any prescription medication. I could see how Yoga,
mindfulness and relaxation techniques, totally turned my own life around in the most amazing way.
For years I was a highly strung and anxious individual, a train wreck with low self-esteem.
depression, anger issues and suffered from constant panic attacks I was someone who wore the tag
‘Asperger’s’ with a mixture of bitterness and sadness. However, I was determined to make Autism
into something positive not negative, as the mainstream press and medical fraternity like to convey.

Medication never really worked for me. I just got this sense that I was simply drugged up and
sedated. It was easy for doctors to prescribe some toxic chemicals that masked my symptoms and
helped line the pockets of the big pharmaceutical companies. It was Yoga and disconnecting with
the busy outside world, and connecting with my inner calmness and Light that really helped me. I
discovered that living a balanced life, one that involved daily relaxation and a good diet, quietened
the inner storm raging inside of me and helped with my anxiety and mood swings. Our bodies are
finely tuned instruments and we can naturally balance the body and mind, without the need for
prescription medication. Exercise and Meditation are excellent for anyone who wishes to live a
healthy and balanced life style.

Early on in my Aspie Journey, I was presented with obstacles. However such social and medical
barriers only made me stronger and my drive to succeed greater. Using meditation techniques and
Yoga, aligning with my Inner Power, I began to see my Asperger’s as a gift, not a flaw. I now saw it as
something that actually made me a unique individual, in a world where being ‘normal’ was the
accepted condition. Through meditation and exercise, you connect your energy fields with your
chakras, creating a gateway to your amazing Inner Light. I never really stepped back and took a good
look at myself early on in my life, but after practicing daily meditation and Yoga Techniques I
realised that I am a truly unique individual….not just Unique but a Genius too as many people with
ASD are too, but they just do not realise it yet, we hope to change that. We will help them with our
yoga, provide FREE training to teach everything I know about development and then offer them all
jobs to help make the flood of apps & games I have planned which will teach all of these healthy
skills to the world in a fun educational way for the whole family.

I have always been good with computers, Maths, Science and anything technical but I knew that I
could be the very best in my field, if I truly wished. The World was at my feet and I could achieve
anything I wanted to, because anything in life is possible. You just need to believe in yourself and
face life without any limiting self-defeating thoughts. I can honestly say that through self-taught
Yoga techniques and Mindfulness training, I managed to keep my Aspie symptoms under control and
at the same time honed my gifts further. I am now one of the leading all round developers (apps,
web & all software) in Europe if not the world, I am rated as the best contractor Nokia has ever seen.
I was even hired by Nokia without a face to face interview. They thought I was that good at my job.
My portfolios include work for all the big household names such as IRIS ( the UK’s number
accountancy software house), Microsoft, Natwest, RBS, TD Waterhouse, Hargreaves Lansdown, JP
Morgan, Aon, Camelot, DVLA, NHS, HMLR, DMGT, News International, BBC, European Parliament,
BP, EA, Regus, NBS, Volvo amongst many other big names listed on my Curriculum Vitae. I also have
a 1st class honors degree in Computing And Informatics and came top of my class and the degree is
rated the hardest by the University, further the School of Computing was rated one of the fifth best
in the country by The Times newspaper.

My computing expertise is in great demand. Essentially, I am a walking testament to the fact that an
‘Aspie’ can achieve great things in life….with a little self-belief and some daily Yoga, meditation &
exercise, and to never give up no matter what. One of the many positive traits of Aspergers is
determination, I never gave up no matter how hard it got, and now I wish to help people get to
where I am with a lot less effort so they do not have to suffer as I once did and then can also live
happy fulfilling life’s and be the best possible person they can be without any limitation.
I met Rupert Smith at Glastonbury on 12.12.12, for a special spiritual gathering. From the moment
we met at this special place on this magical date, I knew that it was going to be the start of not just a
good friendship but also a good professional relationship too. We both shared a passion for
meditation and exercise and we started talking about how we could use such techniques to help
people with Autism. The rest as they say is History.

It is now our mission at Yoga4Autism to offer Yoga Instructors and practitioners our unique
Spectrum Yoga Teacher Training Courses, under the guidance of qualified professionals, who have worked with Autism for many years and who have vast experience teaching Yoga. We aim to be at
the forefront of accredited Special Yoga Training and to bring our unique accredited Spectrum Yoga
Workshops into schools, classrooms and into community halls. Anywhere there is a need for Special
Yoga, Y4A will be there helping those who would benefit greatly from our Workshops.
It is also our Mission to establish Yoga Studio’s and Clinic’s in all over the country and eventually the
world to help as many people on the spectrum live happy fulfilling life’s without any limitations, and
to offer a wide range of Special Yoga courses to these individuals as well as to Carers and Parents
too. We hope that our Spectrum Yoga will help unplug people from the fast pace hectic mad world
out there and a stressed-out modern society and connect them with their inner Calmness and
Greatness. We are all Special….it’s just that some people don’t realise it yet. That’s why Yoga4Autism
is here, to help those with Autism to realise that it is not a restrictive condition, but a gift there to be
nurtured and helped towards an amazing Destiny  We wish to free their minds and unleash their
full potential!

We are offering regular FREE yoga teacher training so they can then open a Y4A branch in their
local area. We have very high demand so you will be able to run at least 5 yoga classes a week and
make excellent money out of it. We are also proud to say our yoga teachers are some of the best
in the world so we would also be sending them on future training courses for free to keep them at
the forefront of this ever expanding service. They are also fully accredited and certified. So if you
know anyone who will be interested please get in touch, we would love to hear from you so we
can get this much needed service nationwide. Please also sign up in the blue box on the home
page of our website.
Be the change you wish to see in the world…
Many thanks,
David Ellams BSc(Hons)
Founder & Managing Director
Email: david@yoga4autism.com
Tel: 07536088179
P.S. Can you please LIKE our Facebook page above and help spread the message far and wide so we
can help as many people with ASD as possible to live happy fulfilling life’s and allow them to be the
best possible person they can be without any limitations, thank you.

Message from Steven Smith – Patron

StevenMonday sees the start of Anti Bullying Week, Remember to ask your kids how they are tell them it is not crime not to fit in ,you wont be disappointed if they are not the mot popular and No it is not their fault if they are being bullied. So many reports of kids suicide the parents say they had not a clue their child was being bullied. Kids do not want to disappoint and will do everything to make things look like they are ok.
Bullying destroys childhood’s and lives take a stand against it. Anna Kennedyshared with me that many children with autism are bullied and often take to the arts as a way of escape one lovely young man who is going to be a star performed to a celebrity audience a few months back. I asked how his school friend must feel he shared that he had not one friend almost broke my heart.
Bullying does not stop in childhood many adults are still suffering at work and at the hands at people who should know better . Next week if you think anyone is a victim of bullying hold out you hand and ask if you can help sometimes just listening can make a huge differences we are traditionally brought up in the UK not to share and not to express feeling it is time for that all to stop. And please all support the wonderful Anna Kennedyhttp://annakennedyonline.com

Steven Smith

Message from Jo Redman – Patron

Jo RedmanLast year I wrote a short piece for Anti Bullying Week and this year I have been asked to do the same. I have been going through a hard time recently and due to this have been really struggling, so I didn’t think it would be possible to follow up on this. But due to my own experiences this is something I feel strongly about and I feel that there is maybe enough energy in me to squeeze something out and hopefully it will be something more meaningful coming from the place I am at currently.

In 2013 I concentrated on my own experiences of bullying interspersed with a message about different forms of bullying and that if you are being bullied telling someone is the right thing to do. So this time I want to take a different approach. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, I don’t want you to read this and think ‘ah that was a good post’ and then just move on, I want you to read this and not just be mindful or aware but to make a difference. And we can all make a difference, to somebody…believe me.

I often talk about how I grew up and felt lonely, misunderstood and left out. I share how I struggled to join in and interact with other people and how that made me feel different which in turn made me feel not good enough. I talk about how those feelings I already had were reinforced and made stronger by how I was viewed and subsequently treated by other people in my life. When I speak or write about these I give the impression that these are all things of the past, that it isn’t like that anymore and everything now is great. But the truth is it isn’t.

Admittedly a lot has changed. I have grown and I stand up for myself if someone treats me in a way I don’t like. But my experiences are woven into me, they sneak into my interpretations of a scenario and influence how I react. And I am still a person who has autism. I still struggle to relate to, communicate and interact with others. I still exhibit “different” behaviours and react differently than others might and consequently still see those “looks”. Everyday is still a battle, not to get through but to get others to “see” me and to understand why they mostly do not want to. It often feels like a battle that cannot be won, trying to be what I am not to fit in does not work or make me happy but I don’t get very far just as me.

But in spite of this, just being me with the people who are in my life and who do “see” me is the most wonderful thing ever. After all my experiences acceptance truly is one of the most amazing things I have felt and I am lucky to know that. Although we all have the right to acceptance and to be loved for the very person we are, many are not. Unfortunately it seems that there is a big problem in society in that we are not taught to embrace difference but are actually conditioned to be fearful of it.

I often wish vehemently that I was different, that I was more like everybody else and within the context of this piece that evokes deep feelings of sadness inside me. That somebody who does their best to tell and make others feel that it is ok to be who they are does not feel the same way about themselves. That deep down after all the declarations of “I am who I am”, I still feel that that is not good enough. Maybe this is the voice of my current struggles and the fight I am in right now but even so I don’t want to think these things anymore. I don’t want to think it is wrong to be me, I don’t want to feel that being different makes me come up lacking something – I don’t want to keep wishing I didn’t have autism or ADHD just because I think that if I didn’t people would like me more or want to spend more time with me and would ultimately accept me. These thoughts are a waste of time and simply not true.

During Anti Bullying Week I am sure there will be a lot of focus on the act of bullying, the impact of bullying and how to deal with bullying. So I would like to remind you now about the power you hold, the power of your words, of your actions. Not just in standing against bullying or to deter you from potentially being a bully but also in how you can make someone feel valued, accepted and worthwhile. Reach out to those you may usually pass over and include them, however painful it may be to you it is likely to be a lot less painful than the feeling of exclusion. Embrace difference – don’t be fearful of it, different minds are responsible for much of the things you take for granted today. Most importantly spread and embody love and acceptance, we find ourselves in a time where these things are called for more than ever. Always be the difference.

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Announcing Our New Patron – Steven Smith

StevenWe are so proud to announce our new patron – Steven Smith.  A powerhouse who has thrown himself into supporting AnnaKennedyOnline from day one!

Author of 2 books and a third on the way, I’m a 10 years freelance writer, corporate & show-biz PR professional and popular radio voice (see voice-over tape below).Pulling together Special Events is a forte and great successes have been: KPMG’s Women in Business; Refuge Glamour Ball and Sandance Ball.Originally discovered for my hairdressing talents way back when…  including eight years in Beverly Hills – returning to London in the 90’s, I rose to fame as a celebrity hairdresser.In addition to my own hair and beauty column in The Sun newspaper, I was a regular on the Lorraine Kelly’s GMTV show during which I transformed Lorraine into movie legend Elizabeth Taylor.
Having been a judge for ” Wear if for Autism ” I was shocked to read about the  often horrific bullying in society of young people with Autism and the discrimination they face in life. I wanted to make a difference I want to educate people that its not OK because someone does not fit in to the mains stream  of society to treat them with less than hundred percent respect.
Meeting the truly remarkable Anna Kennedy OBE inspired me to come on board. I hope to bring my skills to the table and help make a difference.

AnnaKennedyOnline Autism Conference

Autism Conference

Hillingdon Manor School, Harlington Rd

Hillingdon UB8 3 HD



Anna Kennedy Online Logo

A conference designed for parents, professionals, carers and families who want to increase their knowledge and skills on behalf of children and young people affected by an autism spectrum condition.


Speakers include

  • Anna Kennedy  OBE
  • Austin Hughes,  Senior Advice and Training Officer
  • Andrew McDonnell,  BSc, MSc, PhD Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Director of Studio III
  • Sean Kennedy, Barrister
  • Jane McConnell, Chief Executive IPSEA

Tickets are limited so please book early.

Click below to download conference schedule and booking form here.