SeNsational Tutors Joanna Gibbs on Women’s Radio

SeNsational Tutors Joanna Gibbs on Women’s Radio

Anna Kennedy OBE’s guest this week on ‘All things Autism ‘ is Joanna Gibbs . Anna first met Joanna at her charities Autism Expo at Brunel University earlier in the year. 

Joanna has 20 years’ experience working with children,  including 12 years supporting those with specific educational and behavioural needs; ASD (autism), ADHD/ ADD, dyslexia, language delay, memory difficulties, focus and concentration difficulties, Down’s Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome and other needs.

Joanna is a qualified teacher with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, has an undergraduate degree with honours in linguistics and phonetics from the University of Leeds, and was awarded a merit in her Masters’ of Education degree in Inclusion, and Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.

Joanna has previously worked as a Behavioural Needs Assistant and Speech Therapy Assistant within a NHS multidisciplinary team in Coventry, UK. The opportunity to work alongside teachers, parents, SENCos, speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and nurses directly attributed to the broad insight and understanding that encompasses her high level of experience and skills today. She was able to deploy a variety of strategies and interventions within the home and school environment to target a number of educational, behavioural and health needs.

This in turn provided a safe environment to enable children to thrive, which boosted their confidence and well-being, and allowed children to unlock and fulfil their true potential. This rewarding experience propelled her to want to help people outside her own community.

With a developed sense of empathy towards others Joanna then decided to work as a teacher in one of the largest slums in Northern India. This was an eyeopening experience and attributed greatly to her continued passion to help others nationally and internationally today. Following this incredible experience Joanna was employed as an intern at The American School of London, UK.

Upon successful completion, she was then headhunted to become a founding member and subsequent Head of Leaning Support at Chadwick International School in South Korea, Head of Autism and Behaviour (ADHD) support at at adolescent unit in Adelaide, South Australia, and the KS2 Lead teacher at an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Joanna brings her extensive international experience back to Europe to make a profound difference to the families and children in the UK.  She has a number of exciting success stories working with children with ASD (autism), ADHD, dyslexia, behaviour and communication difficulties, and other needs, which she would love to share! 

Joanna is the founder and director of SENsational Tutors, the UK’s leading private SEN company; https://www.sensationaltutors.co.uk/.  Contact details are: https://www.sensationaltutors.co.uk/contact-us/ or email director@sensationaltutors.co.uk

If you missed their interview you can hear every day this week at 1pm on www.womensradiostation.com

Our official sponsors – Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow – St Ives

Our official sponsors – Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow – St Ives

Our official sponsors of Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow – 2019!!!

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors – Greenboard Games, Great Western Railways, Training2Care, Options Autism, Kidz R Us and St.Ives Tourist association for supporting Autism’s Got Talent!

Anna Kennedy OBE and her team are now preparing for Autism’s Got Talent Roadshow – St Ives, Cornwall hot off the heels from their successful seventh red carpet show that took place at Mermaid Theatre London a couple of months ago.

This year Anna is excited to be working alongside her Peoples Strictly Dance pal Phil Barnett and his charity Kidz R Us.

Phill Wills one of AnnaKennedyonline’s Charity Ambassadors who has a son on the spectrum will also be supporting the event. 

Doors open for a red carpet welcome at 6:30pm Show starts at 7:30pm.

Click here for tickets!

Transparency – by Mickey Mayhew

Transparency – by Mickey Mayhew

I recently wrote about how I’d gotten a new job – a two-year contract with one of my old universities – as a participant researcher on a project designed to highlight professional and social neglect regarding autistic adults.

Well that was all well and good. But now that the initial sheen has worn off, well here comes the hard work. And the thing is, I’m in a fairly unique position here, because I am the subject – although not directly – of the research as well as being the one tasked with helping carry it out.

This puts added pressure on me to shine and to come across as professionally competent; I am representing one of the most invisible groups in society, after all.

Therefore, imagine my relative horror – in relation to this responsibility – when I was confronted with an email last week inviting me to partake in something called ‘Dropbox’; ‘Dropbox…’ I muttered, leaning in a little closer to the screen, ‘…it sounds like cat litter!’ But of course it wasn’t cat litter.

It was in fact some means – the tech is quite beyond me – by which files and schedules can be shared between a group of research participants. ‘Okay,’ I said to myself, ‘I have no idea how this works…’ and so then I thought to myself, Well who can I ask for some help?

And then it hit me. There was no one I could ask because there is no one out there on hand to help autistic adults with these – or indeed any, really – sorts of difficulties. We are practically invisible.

Okay then, I thought, I’m going to have to do this for myself…or, alternatively, I could simply email the person who sent me the Dropbox link and ask her help, but I sort of figured that might compromise the professional facade I’d spent so long erecting. Okay, I then thought, perhaps Google can help me with this – and it did, up to a point.

But then I hit on a real brainwave – I’ll send an email enquiry for help and I’ll sign it ‘Distressed 16-year old with autism.’ And I did. And I was deluged. People couldn’t wait to offer help, and to say, ‘Oh you poor, quirky thing!’ and so on and so forth.

Now, as I sat there scrolling through the replies – none of them sexually creepy, I might add – I thought to myself, Don’t any of these people realise their autistic kids – their very own autistic kids, quite often – are going to grow up into invisible, marginalised autistic adults?! Or do they really think that autism is something that just evaporates when you stop being ‘cute and quirky’ and start being ‘grown-up and conspicuous’?!

At that moment I decided simply to delete all of the replies, all the offers of help, all of the saccharine sentiments, and I settled on the fact that I’d simply have to do it myself. As an autistic adult. After all, that’s what I’m being paid to perceive, you know, lack of provision for marginalised voices, and since it also happens that I’m one of those marginalised voices myself, I’ll just have to make myself heard by myself, and learn to do these things by myself, so that I can set a good example.

Getting a job when you are the job – I think they call that kismet. 

Happy vocalising!

My boys and me

My boys and me

This week my guest on ‘All things Autism’ on Women’s Radio Station was Michelle Elvin. Michelle spoke to me about her journey with her boys both on the Autism spectrum . Michelle also spoke about her own struggles being diagnosed with ME and Epilepsy. The whole family have a great love for music and it is something they can all share together.

Michelle shared:  ‘I didn’t know what to expect before my 1st radio interview as guest of Anna Kennedy on Women’s Radio. Whilst having a quick coffee with Anna before heading to the studio I said that it was the 1st time that I had Anna ‘all to myself’ lol. She’s always so busy running round and organising events, greeting guests and performers and putting everybody at ease.

I’ve never been able to just sit and chat with Anna about ‘My Boys and Me’ – a subject that Anna and I have in common – having 2 Sons on the Autistic Spectrum and also a very supportive hard working Husband.

It was refreshing to be able to talk about my disabilities and health conditions and juggling time to rest with also attending events supporting my boys because I don’t want to miss out on anything.

The hour long radio show went really quickly, I wanted to be able to talk about how proud I am of Macauley doing his Singing, Performing Arts and charity Ambassador.

Also about Owen and how he is quiet and chilled and such a kind loving young Man who has his meltdowns and low moods.

Also about the importance to stick together and support each other, I call us ‘The Awesome Foursome’ Me, my Hubby and our 2 Boys. Thank you Anna – I almost forgot I was on the radio at times as it was so relaxed and therapeutic – I really appreciate the opportunity .’

If you missed Michelle’s interview it will be aired everyday this week at 1pm on www.womensradiostation.com 

Ward Williams Charity Race Night

Ward Williams Charity Race Night

Thursday 5th September 2019 – Doors open at 7pm first race starts at 7.30pm

Event Address: Uxbridge Cricket Club, Park Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1NR

Join us for a fabulous evening of networking with local businesses and help raise money for Anna Kennedy Online. A small local charity with a big heart raising Autism Awareness across the UK.

£10.00 per ticket including supper (vegetarian options available)

How to book your tickets:

Please follow the link HERE to book your tickets online (£13).

If you would rather pay cash. Please go to the Ward Williams Uxbridge office to collect £10)

There are many ways local businesses can get involved in this event.

  • Come along to our the event
  • Businesses can book a table and invite customers
  • Businesses can sponsor a race
  • Any donations would be greatly received for our raffle.

If you would like to get involved and would like more information then please contact: enquiries@wardwilliams.co.uk for further details.

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Month: June 2019