Locals invited to take part in Autism Dance Day

Locals invited to take part in Autism Dance Day

Autism Dance Day is now in its sixth year and as always Anna Kennedy OBE and her team will be using the day to raise awareness for autism around the UK, the event is celebrated on social media today and through the weekend of April.

Tomorrow Leann Karen Lok Zumba Instructor and Mala Thapar Charity Champion are coordinatiing Anna Kennedy’s 4th Charity Zumbathon that will be taking place Croydon Sports Club, Old Farleigh Rd, South Croydon CR2 8YB. This is a joint partnership for two charities, Anna Kennedy Online and Lepra UK.

Tickets are on sale: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/charityzumbathon/134126

You can also purchase raffle tickets online.

Registration starts at 1.30pm and the Zumbathon will start at approximately 2pm and finish at 4pm.

Industry experts have long agreed that dance helps children with an autism spectrum condition develop better, and it can also help them connect more with others.Anna encouraged families to get involved saying:

“Soooo strike a pose whether it be in your office, warehouse, school , college , lounge at home wherever the mood takes you and post your photos on Facebook, tag me on Twitter @Annakennedy1 #autismdanceday”

Source: Click here
#MoreThanAMutha – Anna Kennedy OBE, UK Autism Ambassador & Founder of UK Autism Charity

#MoreThanAMutha – Anna Kennedy OBE, UK Autism Ambassador & Founder of UK Autism Charity

#MoreThanAMutha is all about celebrating the things that women are, as well as being amazing mothers.  In a world where many women feel like they lose their identity when they become a mum, it is important to celebrate and shout that we might be mums, but we are not only that and we are still a force to be reckoned with. Please see below an interview with Anna Kennedy OBE:

What makes you more than a mother? 

Since both my sons were diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition it has completed changed my life and, if you like, changed who I was and who I am today with reference to strengths discovered and a drive that I never knew was in me .

Who would have thought the girl born in Middlesbrough would have the guts to set up 2 schools , a college, a residential home, lead a charity and recognised as a leading Autism Ambassdor raising awareness and acceptance.

Who would have thought that little old me would have received an OBE from the Queen and dance on the Peoples Strictly for Comic Relief and receive four 10’s from the BBC Strictly judges after dancing the Charlston with Robin Windsor!

Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? 

Yes I suppose they are because I am petite and have my feet firmly on the ground.

Does that bother you?

No not really. I like to see their faces change and the way they act towards me after I talk about what I do and how passionate I am about my sons and raising awareness and acceptance about autism. They usually end up saying I feel tired just listening about everything you do where do you get your energy from.We need to bottle it and sell it! You’re a pocket rocket.

What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mum?

My biggest struggle is lack of sleep due to my youngest son, Angelo, who has severe autism and significant sensory processing condition. I usually get 3 to 4 hours if I am lucky. Another struggle is because both my sons are at home so I juggle my work and family life every day.

I am really very busy speaking across the country, running my own social media accounts with over 100k followers, arranging events with my team of volunteers, such as the nationally recognised Autism’s got Talent, National Autism Hero Awards, Zumbathons, Autism Expo etc

How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?

My sons and their diagnosis of autism have made me more than a Mutha, and it took 10 year after they were born for me to take time out for myself since I was so focussed on supporting them, setting up services for them and other autistic children and adults.

Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?

I have whats called my ‘autism free zone’ on a Thursday an hour of Zumba where I work hard and get rid of stress and just be me. I love dance and the way it makes me feel.

What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?

You can achieve anything as long as you are passionate and enthusiastic. Just set yourself a goal and off you go.

You can either give in give up or give it all you have got and then some!

Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?

Once your son or daughter have been diagnosed, arm yourself with information and learn the SEN system. If you find it overwhelming speak to someone who can advocate for your son and daughter who will support you through the process.

Both my sons are 25 and 28, some days good, some days not so good.  Just take one day at a time. It’s a constant learning process and there are some great gems and beautiful experiences on this journey.

Source MoreThanAMutha

Autism With Attitude – Hillingdon Manor pupils busy preparing for big test

Autism With Attitude – Hillingdon Manor pupils busy preparing for big test

AUTISM with Attitude, the street dance group from Hillingdon Manor School, are off on a European adventure next month. The school made history last July when they qualified as the first special needs dance team to reach the finals of the United Dance Organisations Championships. Now, they are preparing to compete in the next stage of the competition, the European Championships in Kalkar, Germany, from May 11-13.

This Friday (27) April 2018, on Autism Dance Day, they will be refining their moves and joining other young people with autism across the UK to raise awareness of autism.

Dance teacher Jonathan Baron founded Autism with Attitude in 2013 after students were offered the opportunity to perform in Autism’s Got Talent, a show also set up by Anna Kennedy.

In preparation for their flight, Jonathan recently took the students to Heathrow to perform a flash mob dance. It marked World Autism Awareness Week  and enabled the students to familiarise themselves with the airport.

Anna Kennedy Online has been working with Heathrow airport to raise autism awareness and the street dance crew performed at every terminal.

Jonathon said “Not only are these talented students making history in the world of dance, they are really challenging themselves, conquering new feelings and environments, representing the UK acting as role models to young people with autism nationwide.”

Hillingdon Manor School provides specialist education and support to pupils with autism aged three to 19. This was set up by Anna Kennedy in 1999, when Anna’s two sons, Patrick, 27 and Angelo, 24, were both diagnosed with autistic spectrum conditions as young children. The severity of their conditions meant that they were turned away from local mainstream schools, as they couldn’t cater for their individual needs. Both boys were finally offered just five hours of home tuition per week.

Anna decided something had to be done for her boys, and with the help of her husband , she took on the challenge of setting up a school. They relentlessly fund raised and re-mortgaged their home to raise funds, and in 1999 Hillingdon Manor School finally opened its doors. Starting out with 19 pupils the school now teaches 175, and is the largest school of its kind for children on the autism spectrum.

A video message from David Walliams BGT about AGT!

A video message from David Walliams BGT about AGT!

Watch the video message below from David Walliams BGT about Autism’s Got Talent!

Book your tickets to avoid disappointment

For tickets, please click here to download the form, complete and email lisa.robins@annakennedyonline.com. If you need any further information please contact the office on 01895 540187 between 9.30am until 2.30 pm Monday to Friday.

Read Ciara Curtis’s story…

Read Ciara Curtis’s story…

“On Saturday April 28th I am partaking in the tough mudder half and I am fundraising for Anna Kennedy Online… why?? …

In September 2017 my family received our little boys diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition. It was a very daunting time for us and we suddenly realised we had this whole new journey in front of us that we knew nothing about and was completely unfamiliar with. We quickly learned that there was a major lack of support information and direction.

Then we were introduced to Anna Kennedy and her team via my very lovely sister in law Lisa Robins. And suddenly it felt as though a door had opened into a wider community of understanding and acceptance support and advice.

We didn’t feel alone anymore. Anna and her amazing team gave us direction in a time of confusion and their help throughout our journey so far has been invaluable. So, I couldn’t think of a better reason to run tough mudder to raise funds for a charity so close to my heart and as April is autism awareness month, it’s pretty perfect timing. “AnnaKennedyOnline” is dedicated to promoting the inclusion and equality of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Condition throughout society raising awareness and offering help and support to individuals and families touched by Autism. Thank you for your support”

Please click here to donate this incredible lady.