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Autism Assessment and Diagnosis

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Autism Diagnosis is in the news and across the media once again. NAS have sent an open letter to Rishi Sunak on the wait times for an Autism Assessment.

As you will be aware Anna Kennedy has campaigned for many years on autism diagnosis and the importance of early intervention. Promises are made however, very little action. Anna Kennedy OBE Founder of autism services and National Autism Charity Anna Kennedy Online is flooded with message across social media and through the charity about wait times for an assessment for an autism diagnosis for their children. Parents are complaining of waiting between two and five years for a diagnosis for their child, and it is very much a “postcode lottery”.

Recently Anna read an article that in central London families were waiting over a year for just for a referral diagnosis appointment, despite waiting time guidelines of three months. Anna share’s the Government has yet to complete past Health Secretaries vow to look at starting to officially record the figures. Anna was told that there were complex reasons for the delays, including increased demand for the assessment which had increased “significantly” in the last few years due to wider awareness about autism.

More families may believe their children are on the spectrum due to charities like Anna Kennedy Online forging ahead to raise awareness and acceptance. Anna shares the access to special needs services, which includes an educational psychologist’s report and a limited amount of free speech and language therapy on the NHS, appeared to be a “post code lottery”.

Not all local authorities, health or education services provided equally strong support according to the parents she spoke to. Waiting a long time for a diagnosis meant a window for early intervention could be missed…

“It has an impact on the child, it has an impact on the school, which doesn’t know what they are dealing with. It has an impact on the siblings, and obviously the family.”. While some parents Anna has spoken to over the years campaigning did avoid seeking a “label”, others told Anna of being dismissed.

Please see a click here to see a letter to Rishi Sunak from the CEO of the National Autistic Society sharing 88 000 families are on the waiting list for an assessment.

You have the opportunity to end the autism diagnosis crisis in your Spring Statement, by allocating the urgent funding that the NHS in England needs to both increase the number of assessments carried out and tackle the backlog. No one should have to wait years for a life-changing autism diagnosis.

Anna Kennedy OBE, Chairperson

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It’s Autism Acceptance Week – an article by GoHenry

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Autism Acceptance Week, which runs from 28 March to 3 April 2022, is an opportunity to shine a light on the 700,000 people in the UK who are living with autism – and improve understanding, inclusion, acceptance, and support.

Click here to continue to read this article by GoHenry.

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Harvey Price launches his new clothing range

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Born anxious Founder and AKO Charity Champion Kelly Barker was over the moon to be returning to CHABS catwalk for the second year running with her clothing range and bringing their awareness messages onto the runway. Born Anxious were also delighted to be housing the Harvey Price collection donating to Anna Kennedy Online Autism Charity where Harvey is their Anti Bullying Ambassador.

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Harvey was actively involved with his collection which has contributed to boosting his confidence and independence which was showcased on 12th March at the Hilton LONDON for ‘Cancel Cancer Africa ‘ The launch of the Black and Gold ‘The Frog Father’ is one year after we first collaborated to celebrate inclusion and awareness.

Harvey’s collection is from age 3 – 7 XL

On the day it was celebrated by a full house. All models’ children and adults that took part all are Neurodiverse. This included some of Autism Campaigner Anna Kennedy OBE Ambassadors and charity champions.

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Anna took part in ‘Harvey and Me’ BBC documentary when Harvey was at the stage of his life when he was transitioning from School to college and a residential placement. his was a huge milestone for Harvey and his mum Katie. Anna shared that transition into adult provision for autistic individuals can take some time and needs to be planned well ahead. After the documentary many families contacted the charity asking for advice. Two workshops were arranged where over two hundred families attended airing their concerns.

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Harvey was very happy and felt excited to have so many people wearing his clothing, supporting him and celebrating and even took to the microphone to sing Anna a ‘Happy Birthday’. How amazing!

Kellie as the creator of Born Anxious shared:
“It was a real moment of pride to see so many models supporting Harvey who have all over come so many barriers to attend, celebrating and being celebrated, accepted, appreciated, seen to have everyone on the stage with Harvey was a moment of pure joy to celebrate this way in a catwalk show and officially launch a Harvey’s latest collection.”

Ben Pearson who supported Harvey on the runway also a charity Ambassador shared: “It was so heart-warming to see the love and support for people on the spectrum! We have as much right as anybody else in this world and this event proves its possible… A Big Thank you to parents, carers, and organisers for giving these amazing people the changes that they deserve”.

Josh Burgess Model shared: “My Day was exhilarating and exciting. I was so happy to be part of the event. I had loads of fun and loved meeting everybody.”

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To obtain 20% off please use the following BLACKANDGOLD20 which is valid until Saturday 19th March.

Your purchase will be donating to Anna Kennedy Online.

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International Women’s Day – Dannielle Attree

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International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

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Dannielle is a talented and powerful writer, and she is such a courageous and brave young woman especially when she feels trapped in the mental health unit.

Previously, Dannielle has kindly shared her blog and poems with Anna in a previous article: https://www.annakennedyonline.com/writing-by-a-warrior-by-dannielle-attree/, she just wants to be loved, cared for, shown kindness, feel safe, be accepted and have her freedom.

This is Danielle wearing a Born Anxious T shirt that is part of the AKO charity range. Click on this link to purchase yours: https://www.bornanxious.co.uk/anna-kennedy-online-obe-collaborations/strong-women-tshirt

Today for International Women’s Day Danielle has created this wonderful poster and poem that we would like to share, which is reflective of who she is, her Autism diagnosis and the number of years she spent trapped in hospital, which was why she started writing. Please read these below:

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Writing By A Warrior – By Dannielle Attree

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Dannielle has kindly shared her blog and poems with Anna

Dannielle said: “This poem is reflective of who I am, My Autism diagnosis, the number of years I have spent trapped in hospital, why I started writing and how it helps Me, why I share My writing and how I would hope My poetry would benefit others. 

I have also added a photo of Myself so You can see what I look like!! (In this photo I am wearing My Angel brother Luke’s cap.
My big brother passed away in 2015, aged 22).

Anna Kennedy shared: “Dannielle is a talented and powerful writer, and she is such a courageous and brave young woman especially when she feels trapped in the mental health unit. She just wants to be loved, cared for, shown kindness, feel safe, be accepted and have her freedom.”

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Writing by a warrior

I thought I would type a little poem for You to get to know about Me,

I am Dannielle Attree, a young lady who got her Autism diagnosis, aged 22 in 2019.

I have been trapped in the UK Mental Health System since the 10tth of February 2010-

Totalling 12 years fighting countless wars.

Poetry and Writing became My escape,

The only place I found freedom was within the creativity of My mind

As I spent every day locked away behind door after door.

After years of being secluded from life

I saw Myself as unseen, unheard, The Girl with No Voice and No Face.

Writing in My journals helped Me turn My pain into power

As I believed that one day it would be read, heard, and would find a place to be displayed.

So, by sharing My writing on My blog and Instagram,

I am letting the lion within Me roar louder than the traumas I have endured –

Remaining unbreakable like a gemstone.

Hoping My words inspire others,

Help them through their darkness,

And let them know they are not alone.

Written by Dannielle Attree on Thursday 10th of February 2022.

 The link to Dannielle’s blog is: https://dapoetryblog.wordpress.com/

The link to Dannielle’s Instagram is: https://www.instagram.com/dannielleattree_/

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