Austin is a former actor/singer who in his spare time would volunteer and work in and around many disabilities. Not happy with some of what he saw, Austin started to develop some of his own workshops and projects.
His interest in autism grew from a friend on the ‘spectrum’ and the groups that he was asked to work with. He learnt how to build strong bonds and understanding by putting himself in the shoes of the person he’s working with – seeing life from their point of view.
After suffering a serious head/brain injury in 2007 Austin was left with his own disabilities which brought about a change in his career. Working within autism became his main focus as he trained with and enjoyed working for the NAS which added to his hands on experience.
Austin gives advice and support based on his wide spread hands-on experience as well as constantly learning himself. He likes to look at each problem individually and suggest purposeful strategy rather than give generic answers that might not help. “I want to find the hole that each individual shape fits into, rather than just leave it to one side or pass it through the larger, easier one ”.
As well as offering help and advice, in reply to the many emails asking for help that we receive and being on the helpline, Austin is also our Training Officer at AKO putting together training days and sessions that meet the specific requirements parents and professionals request rather than just giving generic information. Austin’s own particular style and way of speaking has made him now well known within this area. His ability to communicate and get across points, which positively start to change and help peoples understanding of Autism, has made a big difference to many. Breaking down barriers and sharing a smile are guaranteed when Austin is speaking and you never know what might happen!
As well as being our Senior Behavioural Support & Training Officer, Austin is also a great ambassador, not only for Anna Kennedy Online, but autism itself. He is well equipped to lead talks and conferences as well as presenting the demands and issues around autism to those in Westminster.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free leave them below and he’ll get back to you as soon as he can. Alternatively you can email Austin with regards to Training, receiving advice or booking him to deliver a talk on Austin@annakennedyonline.com
‘Firstly I’d like to say a huge thankyou to Austin Hughes. Armed with your advice I went to a meeting at school last week and it’s incredible how when you have the right advice how the mood changes. Today I am pleased to say I have sat with the senco and prepared the application for a statatory assessment and at last they have admitted that xxxxxxx is proving to be a very complex little man who needs more support! Yea!’
“We attended one of Austin’s sessions a few weeks ago and, wow, he’s such a knowledgable guy and so passionate about autism awareness. He really helped me, as a dad, develop my understanding of what’s going on with our family now, and his guidance was invaluable. Anyone — especially any blokes involved in caring for someone with ASD — thinking about attending some of Austin training days, just go for it, you won’t regret it.”
“I attended the two day course led by Austin Hughes and left being very happy that I did. As a father of a child with autism sometimes it’s like I am on the outside looking in. My wife is with our daughter all day and sometimes I admit I come home and just do not really have a clue as to how the day has been for both of them and quite often say or do the wrong thing . What this course did for me was to let me know that actually I am doing ok . With an autistic child you can never be right with what you do or say all of the time but Austin gave me confidence that as a team both my wife and I are doing most of the right things right most of the time. I would strongly recommend this course to any one . Here you will find a man who actually knows what he is talking about, a man who clearly has first hand experience and as a bonus is very funny too. On a serious note you will get a lot out of this course and I for one will definitely being signing up for more.”