Autistic & Proud

Despite my autism and my chronic bowel condition I managed to achieve ISTD grades in Dance and Drama with Modern at grade 6. I am also working towards my Grade 5 Ballet exam. I love to sing, I guess I am what you call an all-round entertainer! I have gone on to pass my level one in sign language and to enrol with support on a main stream performing arts course where I passed a B-Tec first at a merit, and following that a pass in a National Diploma for performing arts.  

I won the 2012 Pride of Essex award for overcoming adversity and from there I begun to blossom as a disc jockey. I have assisted in DJ roles for numerous charity events raising in excess of £25,000.00. I have been so fortunate to meet such lovely people along my journey.  I volunteer daily for a local radio station where I now have my very own regular radio show.  I was also lucky enough to be awarded the Princess Diana award in 2015 for my volunteering which has shown just how far I have come. 

In 2015 I performed at Autisms Got Talent, I feel I have grown in both self-esteem and in confidence since then. I was granted a scholarship through AnnaKennedyOnline, the charity I am now an ambassador of, to attend a yearlong course at Pineapple performing arts.  This alone has seen a once very unassuming and obviously autistic young man blossom into a real person. Although only being a yearlong course, the scholarship has now been extended indefinitely as the teachers and students say my positive attitude to my autism has helped them all to learn a little more of my condition. 

I have now renamed my DJ event and annual fundraiser as being Autistic & Proud.  One of my greatest gigs of the year is for a young boy who has autistic tendencies and cerebral palsy.  I go to his home and set up my equipment to do him his very own personal disco, his face and the obvious enjoyment music brings makes my learning DJ more enjoyable.  The pinnacle of 2016 was my winning the NDA award (pictured below).  I won this award for positive role model in disability….to me this is up there with my greatest achievements.  I am recognised on social media and approached by many parents and other people on the spectrum, being asked for advice etc.  

My experience at the awards evening was by far the most heartfelt experience I have ever had. I was humbled by the winners on the evening but most of all humbled by each and every nomination, all had their own amazing stories to tell.  My CV will always identify my achievements and to head this I am the WINNER of The National Diversity Award for positive role model 2016.   I can say from the bottom of my heart  “My name is Aston Avery I AM AUTISTIC & I AM PROUD”!!