We are thrilled and excited as we prepare to welcome everyone to the AKO Autism Expo! The excitement is mounting as we count down the days to this special event. On the 17th of June, we will gather at Brunel University, eager to connect, learn, and support one another.
The AKO Autism Expo is significant in our hearts because we truly understand the challenges and triumphs that families with autistic children experience. We recognise the strength and resilience it takes to navigate the unique journey of autism. This event provides a platform for us to come together, exchange knowledge, and celebrate the incredible diversity within the autism community.
After the prolonged period of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we sincerely appreciate and acknowledge the effort that individuals and families are making to join us. It has been a challenging time for everyone, and we are grateful for the dedication and commitment demonstrated by those who can attend the expo.
The AKO Autism Expo offers a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. The sense of community and support radiating throughout the event is heartwarming. We can share stories, exchange advice, and foster a sense of belonging that can be difficult to find in other settings.
In addition to the joy of reuniting, the AKO Autism Expo promises to be an enlightening experience. Experts, professionals, and advocates will share their knowledge and insights through workshops, presentations, and interactive sessions. We will gain valuable tools, strategies, and resources that can positively impact the lives of autistic individuals and their families.
We eagerly await the opportunity to learn from each other, celebrate achievements, and reinforce the belief that every individual on the autism spectrum deserves acceptance, understanding, and support. The AKO Autism Expo is a testament to the power of coming together and embracing our differences as strengths.
So, mark your calendars and join us at Brunel University on the 17th of June. Together, we will create an atmosphere of warmth, compassion, and camaraderie. We are excited to see old faces, meet new ones, and embark on this transformative journey of knowledge, connection, and empowerment. Let us make the AKO Autism Expo a memorable and impactful event for all involved!
Our Headline Speaker
Carrie Grant MBE is a BAFTA award-winning broadcaster with a TV and music career spanning 40 years. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate and an MBE in 2020 for her services to Music, Media & Charity. Carrie presents for The One Show and has the biggest selling vocal coaching book in the world.
She also moderates Health Conferences throughout the world and has been President of Unite Union for Community Practitioners and Health Visitors and Patient Lead for The College of Medicine.
Carrie is a Crohn’s Patient and Ambassador for Crohn’s & Colitis UK as well as being ambassador for The Diana Award, The National Autistic Society and Adoption UK. Carrie is Mum to four children with special needs, one of whom was adopted (2 are autistic). Carrie and David run a support group for over 170 autism families.
Ben Pearson, a fashion entrepreneur from Scunthorpe, has recently wowed the celebrity investors on Dragons’ Den with his rags to riches tale. Despite facing numerous challenges, including being failed by the care system, Ben was able to turn his life around and build a successful business, Big Clothing 4 U. The plus-size specialist has caught the attention of industry expert Touker Suleyman, who was so impressed with Ben’s story that he offered a 35% investment in the company. The appearance on Dragons’ Den has not only secured Ben a significant investment, but has also raised awareness of autism, with many viewers being touched by his story. Despite facing some initial concerns, Ben has received nothing but positive feedback and support from former dragons, other entrepreneurs, and the public.
Alphonso Archer is an accomplished Creative Music Leader who joined Venturers’ Academy in 2016, the first state-funded all-age specialist provision in Bristol catering to children with a primary diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). His passion for working with children with autism, utilising a diverse array of traditional instruments and cutting-edge technologies, including virtual reality (VR), inspired him to pursue a master’s degree in music therapy at UWE, Bristol. With his distinction in music therapy, Alphonso now serves as the Music Therapist at Venturers’ Academy, collaborating with a dedicated multi-disciplinary team of occupational therapists, dance therapists, and psychotherapists to provide holistic support to the students.
In this presentation, Alphonso delves into the transformative power of creative music and music therapy for children with autism, addressing various challenges, including anxiety, trauma, and ADHD. The audience will witness the journey of a girl with selective mutism who found her voice through music therapy, illustrating the profound impact that music can have on communication and self-expression. Observing her transformation, they will hear the story of a child who used songs to address anxiety and low confidence, experiencing the empowering effects of music as a tool for self-expression and personal growth. Additionally, Alphonso will showcase their work in nurturing a gifted pianist and exploring their potential to play guitar, sing, write songs, and engage with music technology. Through engaging examples and practical insights, attendees will gain an understanding of how creative music and music therapy can unlock hidden potentials, foster emotional well-being, and create an inclusive and empowering environment for children with autism.
Finally, after a three-year wait, we are excited to be back at Brunel University.
Watch this space for updates.
Anna Kennedy Online created the AKO Autism Expo as we want to support and inform as many families and carers as we can. It’s a time to meet like-minded people, share stories, talk to an expert in one of our clinics and to find out more about Autism and it’s related conditions. All proceeds will be used to support the charity.
Anna Kennedy Online is a small charity run by passionate volunteers who want to make a difference!
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 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.
For more information about what we do, please click here