The Autism Show is for all intents and purposes a two day trade show where people exhibit their services and products that are available to anyone in the autism community.
This is the first time that the event has been held outside of London, so everyone was very excited about it.
There were information stands from the National Autistic Society as well as locally I map and the Macintyre Charity, providing information to families on how they can access the support that they require.
There was an array of sensory toys, gadgets and even a walking, talking interactive robot!
As well as this, there were speakers ranging from professors, therapists, service providers, groups talking about autism, how people are affected, how they access help, and how the benefit cuts are affecting this group of people. It was all so interesting and informative.
The high-light for many people was on the Saturday afternoon, in the Autism Matters Theatre.
A group of young people performed in a slot entitled ‘Autism’s Got Talent’ … there were singers, Martin Finn, Carly Ryan, Scott James and operatic singer Marie.
Dancer James Hobley, guitarist & singer James Mason and local author Jake Lynch.
Jake was given a 5 minute slot to talk about the book that he has written named “The Zirisian Princess and the Shrine of the Serpent”.
He began writing this when he was about 14 and was published a couple of years later.
He spoke with passion about his characters and their adventure, images were put up on a screen for everyone to see his idea of what they look like.
Jake also spoke about his ideas for computer games and his need to write, he then went on to discuss his ‘back story’ as Jake said ‘every author has one’.
Jake spoke for a further 10 minutes about what it was like going to a mainstream school with the difficulties he has with autism and Tourette’s syndrome.
He spoke with emotion about how he was bullied, what was done to him and how he had tried to get help.
Jake portrayed to the audience about how he felt that he was ignored by the school and he really struggled though each day.
He spoke about his thoughts of suicide and wanting to burn the school down,
In Jakes own words “no school = no bullying to me”
Jake then spoke about how his life is now…that he changed schools, gained the trust of new friends and went onto pass his GCSE’s and is now waiting for his A level results.
He is happier now and is hoping to go to university in September.
Jake has written a second book and is already beginning a third!
Jake willed the audience to “listen to your children” when they say they are being bullied and for schools to do more, sooner and to take things more seriously.
He also went onto say “that there is a life after bullying – but there shouldn’t have to be a life after bullying as there shouldn’t be any bullying at all!”
This was the first time that Jake had spoken publicly about his experiences of being bullied due to his disabilities and he was full of emotion throughout.
He really struck a chord with those listening to him.
People came to speak to him afterwards and thanked him for being so brave as to speak up as they had also been through some of what he had and really appreciated that he was up there speaking out about what goes on and that not enough is done to help victims of bullying.
Jake has been asked to speak about his writings and his experiences of bullying and how it’s affected him at two support groups.
Jake and the other performers have all been through a variety of life challenging experiences and have come through them…they are proof that Autism really does have some Great Talents!
If you wish to find out more about this annual event or purchase your own copy of Jakes wonderful book please use the blue links below.