Autism’s Got Talent at St Ives roadshow was another smash hit at the weekend. The audience was once again wowed by 14 autistic performers on stage at the St Ives Theatre supported by Philip Barnett, a very good friend of the Anna Kennedy Online (AKO) and his group of performers Kidz R Us.
Supporting the event was The Voice UK winner Molly Hocking and Katie Price whose son Harvey also participated in the showcase playing ‘When the Saints Come Marching In’ in the organ.
Anna Kennedy OBE autism ambassador announced a new ambassador for the charity Daniel Doherty from Ireland who was given a standing ovation for his performance of ‘O Sole Mio’
Daniel shares: ‘My name is Daniel Docherty and I have an autism spectrum disorder. I am 19 years old and I live in the southeast of Ireland. I am the Ireland ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online, an incredible organisation that strives to improve the lives of those living with autism.
‘My dream is to become a famous singer and autism awareness advocate. I study psychology in Waterford Institute of Technology and have completed my first year, passing all of my exams. I have a keen interest in story-writing and poetry too. I was diagnosed with autism in March 2014 at the age of 14 and it was a moment of relief for me as I always knew deep down. I was quite an eccentric individual compared to other people. One of my special interests is music, in particular singing.
‘I love singing as it has always been a way for me to deal with my anxiety and stress. It is also one of the ways in which I express myself and my favourite genres to do this are opera, classical, musical theatre, and Swing. I hope to also one day make a real change in the world for the better and promote a society of acceptance and support.’
Daniel continued: ‘Becoming an ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online in Ireland means the world to me. I was really surprised when I was asked to join the AKO team and jumped at the chance to be a part of this incredible organisation.
‘Having autism has meant my journey to where I am now has been no easy ride, but it has taught me a lot about myself and has allowed me to relate to others on the spectrum as we see the world in different ways than neurotypical people.
‘Being an ambassador now enables me to interact with more people on the spectrum and together this means we can change the world. We can transcend boundaries and unify people in order to create an accepting and supportive society for those with neurodiversities such as autism.’
Dr Anna Kennedy OBE is an educator who has worked to provide an improved education and other facilities for children with autism spectrum disorders.