Anna Kennedy OBE is a regular contributor on Sky TVs Chrissy B the only mental health and well-being show on TV.
Every month Anna invites a guest into the studio and this month she invited one of her Autism’s got Talent performers 18 year old Liam Burgess. Liam was diagnosed with Asperger’s, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia at the age of 7.
By 9 yrs old he was finding school life very hard, being misunderstood and bullied led to him not coping in that environment, he was permanently excluded from his mainstream school and put on a register for likely young offenders.
After a year out of school he was finally given a place at the local special needs school, finding a supportive environment with a sense of belonging. He flourished and excelled in his education.
Finding a love and talent for singing and performing. Liam successfully auditioned in 2015 for DanceEast centre for advanced training and was awarded a place, he spent two fantastic years on the scheme before deciding it was time to move on to pursue his love of musical theatre.
It was then Liam performed on Autism’s Got Talent and received a standing ovation for a song he sang from Les Miserable. He later went onto sing on further shows and events supporting Anna Kennedy Online Autism Charity.
Liam is currently a student at Evolution Foundation College, which is the top performing arts foundation college in the UK. Liam is in the process of auditioning to secure a place and funding to be able to continue his training for the next three years.
He recently won the Tendring Youth Award for the arts, and spent the summer rehearsing and performing in a new musical, called Barrack room ballads with The Youth Music Theatre in Chelsea. Anna was invited to see him perform.
Liam wants to pursue a career in the arts, while being an advocate for autism and additional needs, to show that anybody, no matter their background or disability can benefit from performing.
This is especially important to Liam, as he’s a fantastic role model and great support to his youngest autistic brother who is currently permanently excluded from school going through a very similar journey to his own.
Autism’s Got Talent is currently in its eighth year and performers are currently rehearsing to showcase their Talent for 4th May at Mermaid Theatre Blackfriars. Tickets available at Anna Kennedy Online.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the world’s first blog psychologist and founder of Psychreg. He writes for the American Psychological Association and for other online publications.