Anna Kennedy OBE talks about her Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow

Autism's Got Talent

© So Shoot Me – Portrait Photography

The school  is a specialist independent school for children aged 5 to 16 years who are on the autistic spectrum.

The show was hosted a the school to raise local awareness  about the difficulties and obstacles that parents face in getting their children into an Autism specific school. Parents often have to fight to get their children into the school.

Talking exclusively to Autism Daily Newscast, Anna told us that it was such an amazing feeling watching the show. All performers and crew had arrived by 9am ready for a day of rehearsals in a relaxed atmosphere.

Photographer at the event, Karen McGuire from ‘So Shoot me – Portrait Photography’ took stunning photographs and put everyone at ease, Karen is on the autistic spectrum. Once again Anna told us that Karen expressed her thanks to Anna as she believed in her.

Jo Redman

Jo Redman © So Shoot Me – Portrait Photography

There were many acts including Jo Redman who is a young patron of Anna Kennedy Online and 3 x World Kickboxing Champion. She spoke about her younger years growing up as an undiagnosed female with Asperger’s Syndrome and how she was the victim of bullying.  Jo will be delivering the same speech at the House of Commons when she attends  to deliver the findings of a survey carried out on behalf of Anna Kennedy Online into parents experiences of their children regarding the issues of diagnosis, inclusion and bullying. So far the survey has over 800 signatures and Anna is hoping to get 1.000 by the end of November.

Anna stated:

“Jo gave a very moving speech and during it she thanked me saying, thank you for giving me a voice’.”

Callum Abbiss

Callum Abbiss © So Shoot Me – Portrait Photography

Callum Abbiss, a young man on the autistic spectrum travelled all the way from Nottingham leaving home at 4am to sing at the event, he sang two songs. The following morning  he was still buzzing after the event.

Olley Edwards, actress, and author who has Asperger’s Syndrome was at the event with her daughter Cherish who is autistic. Olley spoke about her book, ’Why Aren’t Normal People Normal? Olley posted the following comment onto her Facebook page about watching the show with her daughter.

Olley Edwards

Olley Edwards © So Shoot Me – Portrait Photography

“Amazing time at “autisms got talent” my mind is blown. Cherish heard the little girl sing one moment in time and said “is she autistic like me?” After saying yes she replied “I love being autistic mummy” …and that’s what it’s all about thank you team AKO”

Jennifer Belander, comedienne and actress who has a son on the autistic spectrum, exclusively performed part of her one woman show ‘MomAutism’, Anna told us that after Jennifer had watched the other performers during the rehearsal she said ‘I don’t feel like I’m good enough.’ Jennifer is now performing her show at Leicester Square.

What was made very clear was the positive response from members of the audience after the show. One lady came up to Anna and confessed that she never thought she would be entertained.

Jennifer Belander

Jennifer Belander © So Shoot Me – Portrait Photography

The Mayor of Bromley attended the event, he was very entertained and could not believe the talent.

Vicky Alcock, a British actress famous for playing the role of Julie Saunders in the tv series ‘Bad Girls’ who lives in Bromley, watched the show. She came straight from filming a BBC3 comedy show. Vicky was very impressed by what she saw and that as a result of this she now wants to help and support the school.

The road show has previously been in Manchester and may possibly be travelling to Leicester next year. Anna confessed that she would love to do something in her home city of Middlesbrough.

Anna told us:

 “I have a fantastic team that works alongside me for Autism’s got Talent we call ourselves the A team Lisa Robins, Austin Hughes and Tally Nothey.”

Next year there will be an Autism’s Got Talent show held on May 10 at the Mermaid Theatre in London. This again will be a celebration of talent and an event which will raise awareness about autism.

Anna gives this final message on her website,

‘As a final note please do remember that ‘Autism’s Got Talent’ is NOT a competition but rather a CELEBRATION of just how talented those on the Autistic Spectrum really can be.

Please send all Vids/Youtube clips to lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk or Austin@annakennedyonline.com

David and Carrie Grant, TV presenters and vocal coaches who have children on the autistic spectrum will be presenting the event with herself, Austin Hughes and Maggie Paterson who is the Principal of Pineapple Performing Arts.

The cut off date for applications is the December 31. Adults and children can apply; they can be singers, groups, dancers, magicians, basically anybody with a talent.

Anna Kennedy Online website.
Link to participate in the UK parent survey can be found here.