Recently Heidi Kirrage mother of Callum was the guest at Anna Kennedy’s ‘All Things Autism’ at Women’s Radio Station.
Heidi shares with autism advocate Anna Kennedy OBE: ‘Callum is 11 years old and he was born in Russia. Callum lived the first part of his life in a Russian orphanage, he was finally adopted and came home to his family at age 1.
‘Callum has always appeared different to other children and was extremely active. He had his own unique ways and life could be a real struggle for him. Callum was finally diagnosed with severe ADHD, autism, anxiety disorder and OCD.’
Primary school was very hard as he struggled to fit in, and he found it hard to socialise and keep up with others. He is now of secondary school age and currently out of education while his mum Heidi is trying to fight for the right specialist provision for Callum.
Callum has an absolute love of music and dance. This is how he expresses himself and dance is what makes him happy. He joined a street dance class at age 5 and it just grew from there. In 2015 he performed at the well known Autism’s Got Talent at Mermaid Theatre in London and that was when his life changed.
His confidence grew, he made friends and gained an absolute love of performing, since then he has performed at a further two Autism’s Got Talent roadshows in Middlesex and Cornwall.
In 2016, through the UK Autism Charity Anna Kennedy Online, he was awarded a scholarship at Pineapple Performing Arts School every Sunday afternoon at Covent Garden where he takes part in three hours of dance.
He absolutely loves it there and is just included and accepted for being himself. Callum has a motto – he says: ‘ADHD and autism won’t stop me’. Callum makes anti bullying videos to try to help and inspire others. Callum’s dream is to be a dancer in the future and perform on stage or in music videos.