Dr. Anna Kennedy OBE, founder of the Anna Kennedy Online charity, shares her journey and experiences…

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Our UK Autism Charity, Anna Kennedy Online, is going from strength to strength, supporting and sharing information with many families and adults diagnosed with the Autism spectrum. Ever since I started my journey with my boys Patrick and Angelo and wanting to help and support those who, like them, have a diagnosis of an Autism spectrum condition, I have been frustrated and disappointed with the lack of facilities and support across the UK.

Of course, Autism spectrum conditions do not just affect children and teenagers. This is a lifelong condition for many people who can often face perplexing problems such as behavioural 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 – it is difficult enough for all young people looking for work these days, so having a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition can make it even harder, and sadly for many they give up trying because of a lack of response and understanding from employers.

I have seen this directly through my 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.

Therefore, it is so essential that all of us who are involved with and diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder 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 Anna Kennedy Online, we have seen visits to the site grow enormously as more people discover what we are about and what we can offer and contribute their experiences, tips, and advice to help others looking for help. I have been genuinely humbled by the number of emails and letters I receive from people telling me they have finally found somewhere they can turn to for help and support. You can see my journey further below which includes some fantastic experiences that I would love to share with you, I’m so fortunate to have a tremendous team.

My ‘A Team’ is Lisa Robins, Tally Nothey, my husband Sean and our Charity Champions, Patrons and Charity Ambassadors, who help us spread the work of our Charity. Please click here to read an article – called An Interview with Anna Kennedy OBE.

Important news: Please help us register to help ease the worries of carers. We have started a petition to social care minister Helen Whately, with the support of many, including ITV, which highlighted concerns of ‘Who will look after my autistic sons when I’m no longer around?’ Click here to read this.

As a small charity, we work hard to provide workshops, training, legal advice, and talks across the UK, as well as an up-to-date website and daily updates on social media. We work tirelessly on annual events such as our legendary showcase of ‘Autism’s Got Talent’ with the main event as well as the various roadshows; we have our successful yearly events such as the AKO Autism Expo and the Autism Hero Awards, as well as local events and fundraisers.

We are delighted to partner officially with Includability – The Home of Inclusive Employers. We mirror Includability’s values of ensuring everyone receives an equal opportunity for any job.

Social Media, such as Facebook and Twitter, is such a valuable resource. I have created an autism virtual community of our 100k followers, where we share up-to-date information, tips, advice, and success stories about how 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 and targets issues such as autism diagnosis, our autism anti-bullying of autistic children Campaign ‘Give us a Break! in schools. Our culture campaign continues, and we regularly monitor the media and Parliament and speak 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 of DaisyChain, Autism Support Crawley, Kilmarnock Horse Rescue, Cheshire Autism Practical Support, Square Peg Foundation, Camp Mohawk Autism Early Support, and an ambassador for Special Dreams Foundation, Autism AngliaBorn Anxious, and Includability. I am also a committee member of LOANI, Ladies Of All Nations International Group.

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 click here and go to our donations page. Also, if you know any organisations that would like to advertise on the Anna Kennedy Online portal, please contact Lisa Robins at lisa.robins@annakennedyonline.com or call us on 01895 540187.

All the Best
Anna Kennedy OBE

Media Coverage

Please click on the icons below to read the media coverage of Dr. Anna Kennedy selected as autism Ambassador of the Year by IAOTP