Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tyler Gianchetta

Autism Light #425 is Tyler Gianchetta.




Tyler Gianchetta is an 18 year old who has autism from Huntington, New York. He is currently an honor's college student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Tyler Gianchetta is an Autism Light because he pulled his unresponsive mother from a burning car in Long Island, New York on July 15, 2015 and saved her life.

Susan Gianchetta blacked out while driving in West Hills, New York on July 15, 2015. The car she was driving then hit a tree. Her son Tyler was riding in the passenger side and he broke his hand but managed to pull his mother out of the vehicle to safety just a minute before flames engulfed the car. The following is a news story about Tyler rescuing his mother.



Tyler has said this about the incident: "I say don't call me a hero, I'm not a hero yet until I know she's OK (Autistic Son Saves Mother from Burning Car on Long Island, CBS New York, July 16, 2015)."

Still Tyler's dad Michael Gianchetta is certain his wife wouldn't have survived the accident without the quick thinking of his son. Michael Gianchetta said, "He's [Tyler] a hero and he is a special kid (Autistic Son Saves Mother from Burning Car on Long Island, CBS New York, July 16, 2015)."

You can read more information on Tyler Gianchetta's rescue of his mother in these online stories.

Special thanks to Tyler Gianchetta for being an Autism Light. His quick thinking in the midst of an emergency where his own hand was broken saved his mother's life. Tyler Gianchetta is representative of the many people with autism who are everyday heroes as they live their lives in tune to how they can help others.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gavin Joseph

Autism Light #424 is Gavin Joseph.


Gavin Joseph is a young man who has Asperger's and ADHD. He graduated in 2015 from Wesclin High School in New Baden, Illinois. Gavin was a victim of bullying and physical violence in late June 2015. Gavin Joseph is an Autism Light because he chose to forgive his attackers and instead of pressing charges raise autism awareness.

In late June 2015, Gavin Joseph was tricked by some boys that he thought wanted to be his friends and instead they physically assaulted him to teach him a lesson. The following is a news story on what happened to Gavin Joseph and his decision not to press charges.



Gavin's mother Cortnie Stone explained on her Facebook what happened.
Some kids were talking about how it’s weird that he’s always by himself, attending events alone and watching people, and that it was “creepy” how he wanted to be friends with people he didn’t know. 
Another kid that overheard that conversation decided to take matters into his own hands and become judge and jury, and this is the result of that. He didn’t ask questions, didn’t get to know Gavin, never met him, and didn’t give him a chance to leave. 
He was called to meet someone, surrounded by people he didn’t know, choked, punched, and left laying on the pavement so he would ‘learn his lesson’. 
Gavin is fine. He has mild concussion, a bruised oesophagus, the tip of his nose fractured, and hematoma in his eye, but nothing permanent. 
He did not press charges, but requested their community service be disability related, that they write a paper on Asperger’s, and that they watch a 20 min video statement he taped while their families were present so they could see the damage they did and hear the event from his perspective (The Independent, July 6, 2015).
Sarah Goucha writer at the Huffington Post summed up the noble act that Gavin Joseph did in this way, "A gang of bullies beat up teenager Gavin Joseph, who has autism, for being different. Yet the only thing truly different about him was his response (The Huffington Post, July 7, 2015)."

Gavin Joseph makes history at Autism Light as the subject of the 100th post featured on the blog about someone with autism. Links to the other related posts are referenced on the "Has Autism" page at Autism Light.

Special thanks to Gavin Joseph for being an Autism Light and showing forgiveness toward those that wronged him. In doing so Gavin has not only raised awareness of bullying and autism, but he has shown the true spirit of the autism community as reflected in the desire to improve the world one person at a time. We wish Gavin Joseph all the best in his life.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jacob Velazquez

Autism Light #423 is Jacob Velazquez.


Jacob Velazquez is 7 years old and has autism. He was born on September 27, 2007 to Willie and Tina Velazquez. Jacob lives in South Florida and has been playing music on the piano since 2011, just before he turned 4. He is considered a piano prodigy with a photographic memory and has been respectfully called "Baby Beethoven", "Little Beethoven" and "Mini Mozart". Jacob Velazquez is an Autism Light for the way in which his talent in playing the piano can entertain others and give hope to others with autism as it spotlights the special gifts that some people with autism have.

Photo of Jacob Velazquez
Jacob Velazquez
Awards: When Jacob was four years old he won the double platinum trophy at a Stage Masters competition in Miami. Jacob was admitted to the prestigious National Musicians Guild by playing ten classical music pieces from memory.  

The following is a video of Jacob Velazquez appearing on an Extraordinary Kids segment of the Steve Harvey show.


In the above video Jacob's mother, Tina, said on the Steve Harvey show, "I believe all children have gifts--with and without autism--it's just up to us to help discover them."

Tina Velazquez described Jacob's development as a musician at age 4 like this.
As he got older his behavior grew even more challenging but I also became even more aware of Jacob's capabilities. One day, shortly after his fourth birthday I heard the song playing from our family piano that my husband was playing the night before...but my husband was at work. I went to look to see who it was and to my surprise it was Jacob! I couldn't believe my eyes! It took us a while but we finally found a piano teacher that would take a 4 year old. His teacher soon became aware of his gift as he was flying through books learning 2-3 songs per week. It was so amazing to watch him. My son whom could never sit still could focus so intently on learning his songs on the piano. It seemed to be an outlet for him, helping him to express his feelings and emotions (Tina Velazquez via Autism Speaks Blog).
Hobbies: Jacob is a huge fan of Taylor Swift and even created a "Taylor" character on his wii just in case she ever comes over to play with him.

Album: Jacob is currently working on what will be his first album. He presently has two singles available for download on his iTunes page. You can also watch his first music video on YouTube based on one of the singles.

The following is a news story that was done by Channel 10 in South Florida on Jacob Velazquez. It is a follow up to an earlier story on Jacob done by Channel 10 News.



Social Media: You can follow Jacob on the following social media areas.
If you want to find out more about Jacob Velazquez visit his official website at www.jacobvelazquez.com

Special thanks to Jacob Velazquez for inspiring the autism community with your accomplishments and entertaining the world with your talent. We hope that your story will encourage others with autism to play piano no matter what their skill level might be. We expect to be hearing much more about Jacob Velazquez in the years to come.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: The photo in this post was used with permission of Tina Velazquez.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Teddy Morris

Autism Light #422 is Teddy Morris.


Teddy Morris is a golden doodle dog who lives in Jackson County, Michigan. He is one years old and serves as an autism service dog to a boy with autism named Sam Morris. Teddy is an Autism Light for the positive difference he has made in the life of Sam Morris.

The Jackson County community helped raise funds to help purchase Teddy for Sam. The following is a news story about how Teddy has helped Sam cope better with his autism.




Teddy and Sam are always together. Two contributions that Teddy makes is he helps prevent Sam from wandering and keeps him calm.

Stephani Morris said, "When he is having a hard time, Teddy will usually be able to pick up on that and help him through that process (WILX.com, Haley Nelson, July 17, 2015)."

Teddy will be added to the Autism Light Animal Page today. Teddy is a fine representative of autism service dogs that are hard at work around the world day in and day out. We wish Teddy and Sam the best in the future.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kevin Healey

Autism Light #421 is Kevin Healey.






Kevin Healey is an Autism Campaigner from Stoke on trent in the United Kingdom. Kevin is 41 and was born on May 27, 1974. Kevin was diagnosed with autism in 2001. His twin brother Shaun also has autism but a more severe form. Kevin's personal experiences of having autism and being bullied have driven him to campaign against bullying. Kevin Healey is an Autism Light for the difference he is making in the lives of people with autism and how he is continually raising autism awareness through his writing, speaking, social media, leadership, and campaigning against bullying.

Anti-Bullying Campaigner: Kevin Healey raises awareness for cyberbullying and online harassment of people with autism. He is also trying to change hate crime laws in the United Kingdom and around the world in order to make it more difficult for anyone to get away with bullying people with autism. You can find out more about his Global Anti-Bullying campaign at the website www.autism-campaign.co.uk.

The following is a video where Kevin Healey talks about his anti-bullying campaign.


Author: Kevin Healey's autobiography is the 2008 book Twin Brothers World's Apart. He donates proceeds from the book to charity. Kevin's twin brother Shaun is more severely impacted by his autism than Kevin. You can order the book from Amazon/UK and the website for information on this book is at www.twinbrothersworldsapart.com.

Straffordshire Adults Autistic Society: Kevin Healey founded the Straffordshire Adults Autistic Society (SAAS) in 2007. They were the winner of the Queen's Award Charity in 2011. The SAAS is the largest adult autism charity in the United Kingdom. They say, "Our aim is to provide support to individuals on the autism spectrum, and to spread awareness and promote a better understanding of Autism and Asperger's (SAAS Blog)." Learn more about their work at the website www.saas.uk.com or their blog at www.autismblog.org.uk.

National Autistic Society: The National Autistic Society is the largest Autism Charity in the United Kingdom. Kevin Healey has been working the National Autistic Society for over 5 years as a regional Cllr/Trustee and Ambassador for the National Autistic Society.

Other Award: Kevin Healey was awarded by his community the Stoke on Trent Citizen of the Year in 2006.

The following is a video that Kevin Healey did for World Autism Awareness Week in 2015.



Wikipedia: You can read more about Kevin Healey on his Wikipedia Page.

Social Media: Kevin Healey has been dedicated to getting his message out on social media for almost 15 years. You can follow Kevin and his autism campaigning on the following social media areas.
Special thanks to Kevin Healey for being an Autism Light and using his leadership skills to shine a practical light for autism in his homeland while maintaining a global mindset in his efforts. Kevin Healey's campaigning is an inspiration to the autism community around the world. It is hoped that Kevin Healey's example will inspire many others with high functioning autism to speak up for those who might not be able to speak.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photos: The photos in this post were used with permission of Kevin Healey.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jordan Spieth

Autism Light #420 is Jordan Spieth.


Jordan Spieth is a professional golfer and is an autism brother from Dallas, Texas. Jordan's younger sister Ellie Spieth has autism and has inspired him on his amazing trip to the top of the golfing world at just age 21 (he was born on July 27, 1993). Jordan Spieth is an Autism Light for his brotherly love, autism advocacy and for starting The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation that will help secure educational opportunities for those with autism and special needs.

The following was posted on Twitter by Jordan to honor his sister Ellie.


Early Career: Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2009 and 2011. He played college golf for a year and a half at the University of Texas. In the middle of his Sophomore season in 2012, he made the decision to turn professional at age 19.

PGA Golfing Career: Jordan Spieth has had immediate success as a professional golfer. He is ranked 2nd in the world at the time this post was written. The list of major championships he has won include:
The following is an interview Jordan Spieth did on CBS This Morning where he talks about his golfing and inspirational sister Ellie.




About His Sister Ellie:  When asked about the impact he has had from his sister Ellie and her journey with autism, Jordan Spieth said this:
"How has she shaped my upbringing? Well, she's the most special part of our family. She's the funniest part of our family. I love having her around. She's an incredible sister, my biggest supporter. She is somebody who you can watch and then reflect on the big picture of life and understand that all these frustrations in a day, or in a round of golf, are really secondary. We wouldn't have that realization without her (Jordan Spieth as quoted by CNN.com, April 14, 2015)."

The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation: Jordan Spieth is quoted as saying, "Being Ellie's brother humbles me every day of my life." Ellie's journey with autism has inspired Jordan to use his success to start The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation. The Foundation website says, "This opportunity to find better educational solutions for incredible young people like Ellie remains the primary focus of The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation." Military families and junior golf are also two subjects that will benefit from The Jordan Spieth Foundation.

The following is a PGA Tour video about Jordan Spieth's story of success.




Wikipedia: You can read more about Jordan Spieth on his Wikipedia Page.

Social Media: You can follow Jordan Spieth on the following social media areas.
Special thanks to Jordan Spieth for being an Autism Light. Jordan's autism advocacy, his foundation, and his promotion that his sister who has autism has helped keep him grounded are shining a light for autism. We wish Jordan Spieth all the best in his pro golfing career. We have the feeling that this post will be updated several times in the years to come as Jordan reaches new heights in the field of golfing and autism advocacy.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Michigan Lights


The State of Michigan is the home of 17 Autism Lights shared in 14 posts. Michigan is also the state where each Autism Light post is written at before it is published on the blog. The Michigan group includes 3 people with autism, two athletes, 8 autism parents, a business, a historical landmark, an animal, a shopper at Meijer, and a university autism clinic.

 Michigan Autism Lights

People With Autism:
  1. Anthony Ianni has autism and is a former NCAA college basketball player at Michigan State University and now speaks against bullying. He is from Okemos, Michigan.
  2. Dylan Yates has autism and is an artist from Royal Oak, Michigan.
  3. Justin Harlan is a young man with autism who helped fight for autism insurance in Michigan. Justin is from Berkley, Michigan.
Autism Parents:
  1. Brian Calley is an autism father and the Lt. Governor of the State of Michigan. He is from Portland, Michigan.
  2. Stephanie Crane is the dynamic mother who helped fight for autism insurance in Michigan. She is from Berkley, Michigan.
  3. Camille Proctor is the dynamic autism mother in Detroit, Michigan who founded The Color of Autism Foundation and is an autism advocate.  
  4. Jim and Lisa Price are autism parents from Southeast Michigan who created the Jack's Place for Autism in honor of their son.
  5. Damian Sharbowski is an autism father and mechanic from Troy, Michigan.  
  6. Jack and Rebecca Sytsema are autism parents who founded the Children of Destiny ministry offering Christian spiritual help for autism families. They are from Zeeland, Michigan.
Athlete:
  1. Anthony Ianni has autism and is a former NCAA college basketball player at Michigan State University and now speaks against bullying. He is from Okemos, Michigan.
  2. Ted Lindsay is a retired NHL Hockey player and founder of the Ted Lindsay Foundation. Ted is from the Detroit, Michigan area.
Businesses/Schools/Places:
  1. Olga's Kitchen is a restaurant chain with headquarters in Troy, Michigan.
  2. The Central Michigan University Psychology Department is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
  3. The Henry Ford is a historical landmark located in Dearborn, Michigan.
Animal:
  1. Teddy is a golden doodle who is an autism service dog in Jackson County, Michigan
Other:

  1. Lisa Aldrich is from Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a Meijer shopper who showed kindness to a worker with autism. 
Note: Alan Stokes is the autism father who is the creator and blogger of Autism Light. He is from Lansing, Michigan.

You may reach all these posts by searching the blog through the "Michigan" Label.


The map of Michigan is attributed to By TUBS [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, July 13, 2015

Oklahoma State University Athletics

Autism Light #419 is Oklahoma State University Athletics.


Oklahoma State University was founded in 1890 and is a state research university located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University Athletics field 16 varsity teams that compete in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma State University Athletics is an Autism Light because they have created an I'm A-OK initiative for 2015 football games in order to help people with autism who attend their events.

Oklahoma State University Athletics worked with an autism mother Jennifer Sollars Miller of the Autism Center of Tulsa to devise a plan to make the Oklahoma State University football games more autism friendly. The I'm A-OK initiative will start with Oklahoma State University's 2015 football games that are played at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Berry Tramel and Kyle Frederickson describe this groundbreaking program in university athletics this way, "With this program, kids can voluntarily wear a badge with an 'I'm A-OK' symbol on it, so trained stadium and event staff will be able to identify those with autism and make their families feel more comfortable bringing them to Boone Pickens Stadium (Newsok.com, July 6, 2015)."

The following is a news story by Berry Tramel and Kyle Frederickson on this autism initiative by the Oklahoma State University Atheltics.



Wikipedia: For more information on Oklahoma State University Athletics visit their Wikipedia page.

Social Media: You can follow Oklahoma State University Athletics on the following social media pages.
Tickets: To order tickets for Oklahoma State University athletic events, including football games, call 1-877-ALL-4-OSU or email tickets@okstate.edu.

Special thanks to Oklahoma State Athletics for their I'm A-OK autism initiative. What a great example of how a University Athletic program can raise awareness for Autism. If this initiative is successful at football games hopefully it will expand to other sporting events. May Oklahoma State University inspire other university athletic departments to highlight autism in their game experiences.

 Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Central Michigan University Psychology Department

Autism Light #418 is the Central Michigan University Psychology Department.



Central Michigan University is a public university located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and was established in 1892. It is the third largest research university in Michigan. The Psychology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences at Central Michigan University. The Psychology Department at Central Michigan University is an Autism Light because of their creation of the Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center in the Fall of 2014.

The following is a video about how the Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center will work to help those with autism receive critical assessment and ongoing treatment.



The Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center opened the last week of October 2014 (Central Michigan News, October 30, 2014). They offer ABA therapy treatments in addition to assessments for autism. They are the northernmost autism assessment and treatment center in the state of Michigan, so it will be filling a key role by shining a light to those impacted by autism in the rural communities of Northern Michigan.

The following overview describes the Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center.
The Central Autism Assessment Treatment (CAATC) Center is a multidisciplinary student training center that provides comprehensive, evidence-based assessment and treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. 
The multidisciplinary assessment team is comprised of a board certified pediatrician, speech and language pathologist, licensed psychologist, and advanced graduate students (Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center Website).
In addition, to helping those with autism the center at the time of this post is one of only two places in the State of Michigan that will also train students for a career in autism treatment and assessment. Central Michigan University was able to create this autism center thanks to a $500,000 grant from the State of Michigan Department of Community Health (Now Department of Health and Human Services) that funded a program of training students starting in January 2014.

Faculty member Carl Merle Johnson said, "Behavior analysis is considered the best treatment of choice for autism because of the results it provides. Every individual who receives treatment experiences some improvement. That's why it's so important for us to train more people to be able to provide the service. The need is great and growing, particularly here in central and northern Michigan (As Quoted by Lindsay Knake, MLive, October 14, 2013)."

Social Media: You can follow Central Michigan University and their Psychology Department on the following social media areas.
Wikipedia: You can find out more about Central Michigan University on their Wikipedia Page.

Special thanks to Central Michigan University for creating the Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center. We anticipate that this center will make a tremendous difference in the years to come for individuals with autism who live in Northern and Central Michigan. It is hoped that their work will inspire other universities to offer autism services. If you would like to find out about autism services at Central Michigan University the phone is 989-774-3904.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mira Rothenberg

Autism Light #417 is Mira Rothenberg.


Mira Rothenberg was a holocaust survivor and a pioneer child psychologist in the treatment of children with autism. Mira Rothenberg was born on January 15, 1922 in Vilnius, Lithuania and died on April 16, 2015. She spent much of her life working in New York and had been living with her son in Beverly Hills, California at the time of her passing. She is survived by her only son Akiva Goldsman, who is a Hollywood screenwriter who won an Academy Award for his movie A Beautiful Mind. Mira Rothenberg will be placed on the Autism Light Memorial Roll today.

When Mira Rothenberg arrived in New York in 1939 she began work with children who were holocaust orphans that arrived from European concentration camps. This work with children propelled her into a passion for children diagnosed with autism and she became a pioneer in specialized treatment for them. Her groundbreaking role in the history of autism treatment has been described in this way. "Mira Rothenberg has been instrumental in developing treatments and clinical distinctions for autistic and severely disturbed children that are separate from those who are mentally disabled (ReadHowYouWant.com, Mira Rothenberg)."

Education: Mira Rothenberg studied psychology and education at Brooklyn College and Columbia University. She received her Masters in Psychology from Yeshiva University (Remembering Mira Rothenberg, Tabletmag.com, May 12, 2015, Tal Trachtman Alroy). In 2011 she was awarded the Honorary Doctorate degree at the 80th Commencement at Yeshiva University.

Blueberry Treatment Centers: Mira Rothenberg and her husband Tav Goldsman founded the Blueberry Treatment Centers in New York, which were the first internationally recognized agency to offer treatment for children who had autism and schizophrenia. Mira Rothenberg served as the clinical director of the Blueberry Treatment Centers from 1959-1985.  By 1990 the center "was providing services to more than 200 children and adolescents through its residential and day treatment programs, nursery and summer camp (New York Times, Sam Roberts, May 11, 2015)."

Author:  Mira Rothenberg is the author of the following books on autism treatment.
Mira Rothenberg wrote of her summer of work with autistic children at Raquette Lake, "It was the beginning of the recognition that these children exist and have a right to life....and a change in public perception of and attitude toward these kinds of children--autistic (or as they were often misdiagnosed, schizophrenic), and those suffering from childhood schizophrenia (The Children of Raquette Lake: One Summer That Helped Change the Course of Treatment for Autism, 2012)."

Mira Rothenberg had a heart for her work and she took it personally when she couldn't help every student. In 1978 when a student of hers had to be admitted to a state hospital she said, "I learned that it is especially difficult to forgive yourself. We all want to be gods. But we are mortals, and knowing that is sometimes very painful (As quoted by New York Times, Sam Roberts, May 11, 2015)."

We remember with thankfulness the accomplishments and contributions to autism that Mira Rothenberg made. Over the years she helped hundreds of children to find a better life through her pioneer treatments that were geared distinctively toward those impacted by autism. May the example of her work and her unique heritage as a holocaust survivor inspire others to make a difference for those with autism in the years to come. RIP Mira Rothenberg. All those that had the privilege to know you in your time and those that come after you and have studied your contributions can't help but shed a tear tonight that you are gone from our world.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Anna Kennedy

Autism Light #416 is Anna Kennedy.

Photo of Anna Kennedy
Anna Kennedy


Anna Kennedy is an autism advocate and autism mother from Middlesbrough in the United Kingdom. She was born on March 12, 1960. Anna Kennedy is an Autism Light for her creation of the very important Hillingdon Manor School for students with autism and for her ongoing advocacy as an autism ambassador in the United Kingdom, especially through the charity she founded called Anna Kennedy Online.

Family: Anna Kennedy is married to Sean Kennedy. Sean is a legal advocate at Anna Kennedy Online, who helps the charity provide free legal support to autism families. The couple have two sons, Patrick and Angelo, who have autism.

In the following interview Anna Kennedy talks about raising her two sons, Patrick and Angelo, who have autism.




Hillingdon Manor School: In September 1999, Anna Kennedy opened Hillingdon Manor School in London (BBC News, January 5, 1999). After trying 26 schools and still being unable to find a school to accept her boys with autism, Anna Kennedy mortgaged her home and turned in her life savings in order to purchase the building for this groundbreaking autism school. Today it is an independent specialist school that offers educational instruction to 179 children between ages 3-19 at three different sites. Find out more about the school Anna Kennedy started at www.hillingdonmanorschool.org.uk

Other Facilities: In 2011, Hillingdon Manor acquired Baston House School in order to expand their ability to serve children with autism.  Anna Kennedy also started a college and a respite home that are making a difference for individuals of all ages with autism in the United Kingdom.

OBE: Anna Kennedy was awarded the Order of the British Empire by her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for being an inspirational mother in her autism advocacy and establishing Hillingdon Manor School.

Honorary Doctorate: Anna Kennedy received the Honorary Doctor of Professional Achievement from Teesdale University.

The following is a video in honor of Anna Kennedy when she won the Achieving Mum of the Year from Tesco Awards in 2013 for campaigning for autism.



Anna Kennedy Online:  Anna Kennedy Online reaches over 50,000 international followers of their website. The site shares autism information and is the official charity for Anna Kennedy's diverse autism advocacy (Tesco Living, 2013).  This is the mission of Anna Kennedy Online:
Anna Kennedy Online is dedicated to promoting the inclusion and equality of children and adults with an autism spectrum condition throughout society. The charity promotes its mission of disability and equality by developing and sponsoring training, by raising awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities and also by its advocacy efforts with and on behalf of people with an autism spectrum condition (Source: Anna Kennedy Online).
Autism's Got Talent: In 2012, Anna Kennedy founded the event Autism's Got Talent. 2016 will be the 5th year for this annual event. Anna Kennedy told Autism Light that this occasion is the highlight of her year. It is a night where talented individuals on the autism spectrum have the opportunity to showcase their talents to the public at one of the theaters in London.

(Image Source: Amazon)
Author: Anna Kennedy published the book Not Stupid in August, 2009. The book chronicles her inspirational journey from an autism mother who wouldn't give up into a leading autism advocate. You can purchase Not Stupid on Amazon.

Social Media: You can follow Anna Kennedy through the following social media sites.
Wikipedia: You can also learn about Anna Kennedy on the Anna Kennedy Wikipedia Page.

Motto: Anna Kennedy wrote in an email to Autism Light, "My motto in life has always been You can either Give In, Give Up, or Give it all you've got and then some. I am known for my drive, tenacity and enthusiasm in everything I do in raising autism awareness. I am always thinking out of the box for different ideas in ways to achieve my goals."

Special thanks to Anna Kennedy for shining a light for autism in the United Kingdom. From humble beginnings to her establishment as one of the top autism ambassadors in the United Kingdom, Anna Kennedy is representative of so many other autism mothers who propelled their relationship to autism into a force for good to effect change in their community, country, and our world.  We look forward to hearing new things in the future about Anna Kennedy's work for autism.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: The photo in this post was used with permission of Anna Kennedy.