Dear Friends and Supporters,

Our UK Autism Charity ANNAKENNEDYONLINE is going from strength to strength supporting and sharing information to many families and adults affected by autism.

Ever since I started my own journey with my own boys Patrick and Angelo and wanting to help and support those who like them have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition I am frustrated and disappointed with the lack of facilities and support across the UK.

Of Course autism spectrum conditions does not just affect children and teenagers this is a lifelong condition for many people who can often can face perplexing problems such as behaviour difficulties and many overlapping conditions such as Dyslexia, Obsessional Compulsive Disorder etc

The facilities are beginning to improve however,with Local Authorities and Charities being hit with cuts it is an ongoing battle.

Families and carers need respite breaks, access to better educational facilities and help with finding employment for their children – its difficult enough for all young people looking for work these days so having a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition can makes it even harder, and sadly for many they simply give up trying because of a lack of response and understanding from employers. I have seen, this directly through my own two sons who are on the spectrum , and through countless encounters and discussions with many young and older people just how much they have to offer. As I said in my book individuals like my sons are ‘Not Stupid’ just different, and often with enormous skills, intelligence and the ability to master many complex tasks and projects.

This is why it is so important that all of us who are involved with and affected by autism should continue to fight hard and make our voices heard in improving educational and other resources for individuals, their families and carers. I also know that there is a huge demand for help, support and advice among the growing community of people whose children or loved ones are touched by autism. Since we launched ANNAKENNEDYONLINE we have seen visits to the site grow enormously as more people discover what we are about and can offer and also contribute their own experiences, tips and advice that can help others who are looking for help. I have been truly humbled by the number of emails and letters I receive from people telling me that they have at last found somewhere they can turn to for help and support.

I’m so fortunate to have a fantastic team as I call them my ‘A Team’ Lisa, Austin,Tally, Sean and our Charity Champions Mala and Vicky. who are dedicated supporters of AnnaKennedyOnline . We work hard as a Charity to provide Training, Legal Advice, Helpline,Talks around the UK,Website,Blog Social Media,Autism Dance Day, Performing arts in the form of ‘Autisms got Talent’ and Charity Fashion Show ‘Wear it for Autism’.

Social Media e.g Facebook and Twitter is such a valuable resource and I have created an autism virtual community of our 70 k followers where we share up to date information, tips, advice and success stories where our children and adults have made progress however, small is HUGE to a family with a child on the spectrum.

Our campaigning work is also a big part of our work also targets issues such as autism diagnosis, our autism anti bullying of autistic children Campaign ‘Give us a Break! in schools .We are regularly monitoring the media and Parliament and speaking at events at the House of Commons to find ways of getting our views heard and hopefully putting pressure on those in power to make changes.

I am proud to be patron to DaisyChain, Everest Community Autism and ADHD Club, Autism Support Crawley, Kilmarnock Horse Rescue, Week on the Street, Cheshire Autism Practical Support and Ambassador for Puzzle Centre.

Our Advice service is FREE to users but of course we do have many expenses and running costs so we are always seeking help through advertising, sponsorship or donations. If you are able to help in any way please go to our donations page at http://annakennedyonline.com/make-a-donation/. Also if you know any organisations that would like to advertise on the Anna Kennedy Online portal please contact Lisa Robins at :lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk Tel: 01895 619736.

All the Best

Anna Kennedy OBE