Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Congratulations Anna Kennedy OBE!

Act Now For Autism would like to say a collective congratulations to our very own Anna Kennedy who received her OBE from the Queen today, for her services to autism.

Anna is one of the founder members of Act Now For Autism. Anna voiced her concerns about the impact that the cuts were having and the Work Capability Assessment in the House of Lords during a cross All Party Group meeting on Disability.
Anna has spent the last twenty years campaigning for greater understanding, awareness, acceptance and services for children, adults and families living with autism. 
When school, after school refused to offer Anna’s two sons the right placement, Anna opened her own school Hillingdon Manor. Hillingdon is a specialist primary for children with autistic spectrum disorders, and it did not stop there. Since then, Anna has won a host of awards and has written a book about her struggle to get a good education for her children.

In Anna’s own words this is why she does what she does:

"Ever since I started my own journey to help those with autism I have been struck by the woeful lack of facilities there are for people with this sometimes challenging condition. Of course autism and Aspergers don’t just affect children and teenagers they are a lifelong condition for many people who can often face perplexing problems and behavioural difficulties. The facilities available have never been great and now, with local authorities and charities suffering from severe cuts, the situation is getting much worse. While there is naturally a focus on children with autism and Aspergers I am saddened that older people often get ignored, as well as their families and friends. Families and carers need respite breaks, access to better educational facilities and help with finding employment for their children - its difficult enough for all young people looking for work these days so having to deal with autism or Aspergers makes it even harder, and sadly for many they simply give up trying because of a lack of response and understanding from employers. I have seen, directly through my own two sons who suffer from autism, 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 these people are Not Stupid just different, and often with enormous skills, intelligence and the ability to master many complex tasks and projects."

So let’s raise a virtual glass to Anna tonight – congratulations Anna from us all

See the video of Anna getting her OBE here

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