Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
The Autistic Side of Love – a book written by Samuel Richard Turner

The Autistic Side of Love – a book written by Samuel Richard Turner

The Autistic Side of Love – a book written by Samuel Richard Turner

Remember our AGT singer and ITV Fundraising Winner, Samuel Turner?

Well, he is back in an all-new storybook written so deep in his heart.

In “The Autistic Side of Love” the story remarks how life with autism can be hard and challenging in the community during the Coronavirus pandemic. In the story comes a young man named Markus Evans which had suffered autism in his life with his parents living in his new Welsh home in Carmarthenshire.

Till a girl with autism came back from his past with true romantic life to a new journey that can make Markus’s dream come true again.

Written by ITV CYMRU WALES Fundraising Winner Samuel Turner, the 2021 Autism Got Talent performer.

“The Autistic Side of Love” is a new love story, filled with love at first sight, autism style.

Samuel shared:“Since my efforts I’ve approached from experience, I think making this storybook makes me not only just proud but honoured in order for me to recap everyone that autistic people can reach a light at the end of the tunnel when someone you love can come back to you anytime, anywhere. I think adding a little remark of the pandemic in this story can make a great example, as autistic people did stress a lot when Coronavirus yet broke out despite my experience with it.”

The story is now available to buy on Amazon UK in paperback for £6.00 GBP, and on Kindle Devices for only £4.50 GBP.
Click here to purchase your copy.

A book review – Asperger’s, Autism & You by Ian Hale, Ph.D

A book review – Asperger’s, Autism & You by Ian Hale, Ph.D

Asperger’s, Autism & You by Ian Hale, Ph.D​

A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

I was instantly attracted to the cover of this book, partly as our autistic son loves the colour yellow – and the cover photo has plenty of yellow…. and partly because the scene intrigued me.

The synopsis on the back cover with reviews of Dr Ian Hale subsequently made me think, yes …. this is a book I want to read!

Dr Ian Hale has written extensively in this book about autism. The one thing which stands out from the outset, is that he himself is on the spectrum and he is an amazing advocate and voice for our autism community.

It is always great to read about someone who talks about something that they experience themselves first-hand. We’ve all had that person say to us ‘Oh he has autism?

My best friend’s sister’s daughters neighbour is autistic we know all about it’ …. of course, it is great to share ideas with each other, support can come from many different areas in many different forms. Yet it is always that extra bit more special when it comes from someone who knows… first-hand.

Dr Ian Hale

So, step forward Dr Ian Hale… he ‘knows.’  Being on the spectrum he has taken his experiences and expert knowledge, then put them into this book to help others. It is a great resource for anyone who is connected with autism, and he explains from start to finish in an easy-to-read format.

It is refreshing to read a book which imparts so much information in such an effective and simple way. I love the way Dr Ian Hale starts with some history about autism, then takes you on a journey, highlighting many areas which are often not written about.

A book discussing openly different areas connected with autism, its genetic roots, tips, and topics that are often debated publicised and quoted by professionals – yet this is refreshingly honest and open from someone actually on the spectrum – combining both personal and scientific information.

I love the autism family tree, the way he talks about the science behind autism, right down to the selected reading and resources section, there is something in this for everyone.

Click here and grab yourself a copy, read the book including the reviews highlighted in the opening pages which show the reader how well received Dr Ian Hales resource is.

You will not be disappointed, and I can assure you that it is clear this highly intellectual author is not just an expert on autism, he is an expert at explaining simply and easily so the reader will understand.

Excellent book and author, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ by Dr Amir Khan – A Book Review

‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ by Dr Amir Khan – A Book Review

‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ by Dr Amir Khan – A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

I first came across Dr Khan watching ‘GPs behind closed Doors’ with Chris my Mother in Law one evening.  All the staff were lovely, but we both instantly loved Dr Khan, he was warm, caring, and had a lovely aura about him.  I especially loved that he was a northerner, as I am from Leeds, and born on Yorkshire day!  Northern Souls bond!

We had come across the series by mistake browsing the tv for something different to watch.  It looked interesting, let us give it a go we thought.  We were hooked within seconds.  We recorded the series just in case we would miss an episode, all the while waiting to see Dr Khan each time.  ‘Where’s our Amir gone?’ we would say until he appeared.

We were gutted when the series featuring his practice finished.  At some point later I noticed he was launching a book.  ‘I need that when it comes out!’ I told my husband Mark.  Sure enough, I got the book, and was super excited to start reading it.  Then life comes along with its busy winding road, and I have only just managed to read it.  I was not disappointed at all, and it was worth the wait.

It is my kind of book. I love how Dr Khan talks openly and honestly about his life in a GPs practice.  Each chapter is entwined with stories of some of his patients, and the day-to-day experiences of both him and his colleagues. 

It does make you realise there is ALOT more to what goes on at your GPs than just the regular 10-minute appointments we have all had.  ALOT more.  And at a time when the Country has been through challenging lockdowns, and are still in the midst of a pandemic, Dr Khans book really does make you think about how amazing GPs and the NHS are.  They are a godsend to all of us.

‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ by Dr Amir Khan - A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

Indeed, Dr Khans book is one of true admiration for his profession and colleagues, and he really does enlighten you to understand better the role of a GP.

It was so heart-warming to hear him talk about his patients in such a lovely warm manner, and having watched him on tv, I found myself reading the book ‘in his voice’ if that makes sense?  Making it even more meaningful.

The way he is absolutely honest about how some situations made him feel yet explaining how and why is important and truly admirable.

He explained the highs and lows in great detail, and as a reader a book like this has the ability to touch you in such a way that you feel sad, or actually laugh along with it. 

Indeed, I found myself laughing out loud to some parts; Dr Khan is naturally funny, and naturally calming which comes across in his patient consultation descriptions.

Our son Christopher has Autism, ADHD, learning difficulties and other conditions, so I wondered if I had come across anything related to them in his book, if Dr Khan would cover any of these areas.

As a Charity Champion for Dr Anna Kennedy OBE and her autism Charity I was extremely happy to read Dr Khan tell his story of a young special needs patient and their family, and how he had helped them.  I had the biggest smile on my face as I read that having undergone an appointment in a family’s car due to the youngster’s special needs, he vowed to seek out change at his practice.

A change that would mean reasonable adjustments were made for special needs visiting patients, going forward.  This was Dr Khans initiative at his practice, and he was able to get the whole team there on board to bring about such change, to set up a system to help those with special needs – I also felt heartened to read he enlisted the help, advice, and support from the family he did a consultation for in their car.

Speaking to the family for their first-hand experience was crucial.  For this, I would like to thank Dr Khan from the bottom of my heart.  As a special needs parent, it is people like Dr Khan who inspire and bring about change for the greater good; and I’ve no doubt the special needs community in his area are hugely grateful for his initiative.  Thank you, Dr Khan!

Dr Khan is truly an amazing advocate for GPs and the NHS.  He really does fly the flag for them all, and not forgetting that he speaks highly of his patients too.  He has been able to clearly describe how much his profession and patients mean to him, which actually makes you think about when you visit your own GP – you really are important to them, and they do truly care.  It is easy to feel like a number, but with GPs like Dr Khan around, he is most definitely making a positive change for us all.

I really enjoyed the book, and I truly hope a follow up will ensue!  A truly huge thank goodness for GPs, Dr Khan, and the NHS – where would we honestly be without them?!

Click here to purchase your copy.

Mickeypedia – The A to Z of an Autistic Savant by Mickey Mayhew – A book review

Mickeypedia – The A to Z of an Autistic Savant by Mickey Mayhew – A book review

Mickeypedia – The A to Z of an Autistic Savant by Mickey Mayhew – A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

Mickey Mayhew was one of our fabulous Anna Kennedy Online Charity deserving Autism Hero Awards Winners at our Annual event in 2018, and what a night it was!  If you’ve never been to one of our Awards nights then checkout this website for details of our next one this year click here for more details

In fact, Mickey showcases Dr Anna Kennedy OBEs words on the back cover of his book which gives you a very brief synopsis about Mickey. 

When you read this, you will definitely want to delve into the book to hear from the man himself!

​Mickey is the most amazing talented person which is abundantly clear from this brilliant book – and it is not the only one he’s written either.

Mickeypedia - The A to Z of an Autistic Savant by Mickey Mayhew

The book title and format are so clever, I was so very impressed. 

It totally negates any comments from those who’ve ever said neurodiverse people cannot be creative and imaginative!  Well have a look at this book!

I’m so pleased I got to read it, it’s outstanding. I love how Mickey cleverly takes you through the alphabet, whilst drawing upon his own journey and experiences in each area.  The book had me laughing out loud in so many parts, yet also feeling cross for Mickey in some instances.

I felt connected even more so for growing up in the same age group and era as Mickey.  He took me back to many childhood memories watching ‘Chorlton and the Wheelies’ on tv and how life was different then.

If you’re an autism family it also makes you realise that some things still haven’t changed, YET many things have.. if that makes sense?

His writing style felt so brilliantly ‘cool’ to me, and very conversational which I love, so much so that I couldn’t put the book down.  Not only did I come away from reading this thinking how talented he is, but I could ‘feel’ the brilliance and amazing sense of humour he has.

Who says those with autism have no sense of humour?!  I beg to differ !!

His book gives you so many tips about different areas of autism with each chapter representing a letter of the alphabet. 

He then relates this subject into areas of his own life and how he experienced things.  For example ‘S’ is for stimming which Mickey explains then relates his own experience of this in his life.  It’s just a brilliant genius way of highlighting so many different aspects of autism, whilst you also get to learn of the struggles and successes Mickey has experienced.

I’ve never read a book like this before, it’s so unique, informative and relatable.  You will find yourself immersed in areas of Mickeys life, you will cry, laugh out loud, get angry, be defensive for him, and feel a sense of being proud of the amazing guy he is.

Another must for all those with links to autism, families, carers and professionals alike. 

Mickey was going through his autism journey long before many people had heard or knew about it in the 1970s and 80s, and in fact in the late 80s the film Rain Man was released which some people still to this day think is all autism is about.

Mickey was faced with years of school exclusions in those decades sadly until one person finally signposted him the right way ..

Mickey is an amazing guy, an inspiring role model, and someone that everyone could learn something from.

He very carefully, kindly, and expertly opens a window for you to dip into the World of Autism.  He shows how with the right direction, a huge difference can be made to a person’s whole life.

In all honesty he was left for so long with little or no support and yet he never gave up, and finally with the right help together with his determination and talent, he has become a talented researcher, and an all-round fabulous guy.

Well done to Mickey on an outstanding book, combining a valuable alphabetical resource of information with his own journey through life. An absolute true example of sheer excellence and a masterpiece!! Mickey you really put a huge smile on my face.

What you are waiting for everyone, grab yourself a copy now!

Click here to order your copy

Mickeypedia - The A to Z of an Autistic Savant by Mickey Mayhew
Garden of Evan – A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

Garden of Evan – A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

Garden of Evan, Illustrated by Deborah Wilson
A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

The Garden of Evan Charity was organised in memory of the authors lovely son Evan Louis Schwarz – with the aim of raising funds to provide much needed sensory equipment for children with additional support needs. This book was their first launched, and I’ve no doubt having read it, that it will be a great success.

What a beautifully colourful book this is!  Packed full of some brilliant and clear illustrations with clear bold wording – it is fabulously user friendly.  Follow Charlie as he goes on a journey of discovery in the amazing surroundings of Evans garden.  So well thought out!

You might ask what is a ‘Sensory Book’ ? ..

The book explains all clearly, and in detail for you.  As well as the clear illustrations and wording, the sensory story gives prompts to physical stimuli to the persons learning experience.  It explains very easily other senses often misunderstood or that we are not often thinking of on top of the usual five; sight, touch, taste, smell and sound.

Garden of Evan - A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

I love the clear way it explains that by working more of our senses, you are actually strengthening them.

Each page has a brief prompt that lets the reader know which sensory action to take.

Each prompt is then explained in full detail on the Sensory Chart at the back of the book.  It’s brilliant!

Everything is worked out for you, in such detail that you can also improvise and think of your own other ideas.

The book helps you to create your own bespoke interactive experience. Genius !

It’s not often you find a book with a cool journey encapsulating all that nature offers in an easy vibrant way – so families with additional needs can resonate and make use of its content for both fun and learning.

It’s a really useful book that would be great to stock in educational settings.  It’s great you have the sensory prompts and as a bonus in the middle is an additional interactive area of spot the difference to challenge minds and observation.  Indeed this book would be useful for all children, not just those with additional support needs.

I can totally imagine this book being used in schools, and also parents, and families can join in with their loved ones as they immerse themselves in exploring all the senses and more.  Also put it to great use during school holidays, that would be a lovely way to utilise the book as quiet family time.

Thoroughly recommend this book, I think it’s a great gateway to an immersive sensory experience. Enjoy!

Daddy and the Two Bears by Gary Anderson – A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

Daddy and the Two Bears by Gary Anderson – A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

Daddy and the Two Bears by Gary Anderson – A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion 

I can’t seem to find the right words to do this book the justice I believe it deserves.  So, I’ll just try to do my best to honour its author, Gary, his wife Michelle, and of course Alana and Dana, their twins.

Parenthood is a journey all of its own, and no two journeys will ever be the same.  Most of us have endured sadness and loss of some kind on our own journeys, yet this loss, the loss that Gary and Michelle had, was like no other. 

I cannot even begin to imagine how I would feel in their shoes.  It’s impossible to.  No parent should ever have to lose their child.  Having had a difficult pregnancy, to then lose both of their twins, is just total sadness, and heartbreak. 

Gary writes in this book how he felt throughout, and he gives us a very personal insight into his innermost feelings.  He relates back to his own childhood, and gives us a glimpse of how it has affected his thought process and life.  He discusses Mental Health so openly, and in a way that helps those to understand more, raising key awareness of something so vital. 

Daddy and the Two Bears by Gary Anderson

Gary writes candidly about how he tangles with how he thinks he should feel , and how he does feel.

His struggles internally, mentally and in the here and now during his toughest experience.

His writing is absolutely honest, transparent and you are compelled to read through to the end.  It’s often difficult for anyone to write exactly how they feel and to get the reader to understand.

However, Gary clearly explains the trauma, sadness and frustrations he goes through from a Dads perspective, and from the personal view of a guy who’s working through his own mental health challenges.

A truly raw and heart-breaking account of a tragedy too hard to imagine.

Having suffered through his early life growing up, Gary is faced with something he had no control over.

How he explains his struggles in coping, or not coping, his true story reaches into the depth of your heart and beyond.

Gary’s description on how he faced people and situations after makes you stop and think.  How would you ‘deal’ with this if faced with the same scenario? Nobody could truly say.  How long would you feel sad for?

Nobody can say, it’s an impossible question, and I truly appreciate how Gary highlights that there are so many things in a persons mind that can affect this and it’s outcomes. 

He makes you stop and think – makes you realise that everyday we may walk past, work with, or know people who are facing their own tragedies who may be keeping it in, or are reacting in some way …. we should never judge people as we don’t know what they are going through.

Gary and Michelle’s story takes me back to thinking about my sister in law. Her gorgeous first daughter was stillborn.  I had tried to do all I could to support her, she asked me to be present when she had to be induced and give birth, and I remember it all being so sad, yet surreal like it wasn’t happening in real time, but like I was watching it happen on a tv or something.

The emotions I had were real, yet I could never compare it to my sister in laws – this book explains a journey which makes me understand more, that she dealt with what happened in her own way, as did Gary and Michelle.

I would truly recommend this book. It has a lovely foreword from Paul Whitehouse, acknowledging the courage and hope Gary’s words give. A book that covers so many different areas, that everyone who reads it will learn something new.

Gary talks about mental health, grief, pain, and the resilience he didn’t realise that he had.  What an amazing couple he and Michelle are, allowing the reader to share their most inner thoughts, and feelings, whilst also raising awareness of TTS – Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

An emotional rollercoaster, make sure you grab your tissues beforehand – you won’t want to put the book down and will feel yourself willing the powers that be to shine some happiness on their lives. 

Thank you to Gary and Michelle for allowing us the privilege to read about their journey…

Book Reviews