Natalie Priest
is an inspiring Animator, Illustrator, Volunteer and Artist, currently studying for a MA In Animation, who has Aspergers Syndrome. I met Natalie at an Autism Celebration event I participated in at Cleethorpes, where I participated in her fascinating animation workshop, where she showed us her powerful animations, about Autism, ADHD and making friends. Her animations were very eye opening and were created from the heart of understanding.

Recently Natalie was invited to showcase her annimations at the 'Edinburgh International Animation Festival'. Her animation at the festival contemplates her hopes to make her auto-biographical film on selective mutism while also raising awareness for the cause through animation.

​As well as being an exceptionally talented animator, Natalie loves to travel and do volunteer work overseas; having been to Madagascar, Ghana and Brazil. She says “I have Aspergers Syndrome, although that doesn't stop me living life in a positive and outgoing way”. Check her out on Youtube, and her Instagram and Twitter Radiant Chameleon!

 Susan Boyle
An inspiring singer who has Aspergers Syndrome; who appeared on TV show "Britain's Got Talent" to sing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables.

Since then, Susan has become an international singing sensation with worldwide tours and documentaries have been made about what being an internationally famous singer with Aspergers is really like.

Awesome for Autism!

Awesome for Autism

Awesome for Autism

Dee J Kirkby
​ An inspiring woman who has Autism; Dee is a patron of reading, and an author of many books. I  recently met Dee at a conference about "the opportunities and the challenges, of disability" where we both did a speech. Dee's accurate representation of the diversity of the Autistic spectrum had everyone motivated. Additionally, She was a Writer in Residence for Portsmouth Museums, where one of her projects is currently on display at the Natural History Museum and made the shortlist of six finalists for the Best Exhibition category in The News’ Guide Awards 2013.

Awesome for Autism!

 Heather Kuzmitch
is an inspiring model who has Aspergers Syndrome, who is most well known for her time on TV- finishing in fifth place on ‘Americas Next Top Model’, and was voted as the viewer favourite eight weeks in a row. “Heather says “I wanted to be a role model for girls who aren’t the most popular and are picked on”. Heather
 has learnt to challenge negative perceptions and works with her difficulties and ‘awkward behaviours’ to achieve her hopes. 

Awesome for Autism!

Awesome for Autism!

Dyslexia and SEN activist

Awesome for Autism

Chandos Green
An inspiring 19 year old who is a passionate volunteer. I met Chandos through volunteering with Chatterboxes. Chandos is an ambassador for "The Brain Tumour Charity". He does heaps of charity work raising awareness of hidden disabilities and has created his own charity called "IFightFor" and recently has run the London Marathon. Oh, and did I mention he has survived 3 brain tumours?  

OBE Sophia Christiansen
An inspiring paralympic dressage medalist who has Cerebral Palsy.
I met Sophia at an DPULO (Disabled Persons User Lead Organisation) event, where I was shortlisted as an ambassador to work alongside Sophie and DPULO  to  advise the government.

Dean Beadle
is an inspiring
 successful journalist and motivational speaker, who tours extensively speaking about his experiences on the Autistic Spectrum; discussing how he developed from a child considered a "monster" to an A-Grade Student.

I met Dean recently at an Autism Celebration, where he gave a remarkable speech. Dean's story highlights a humorous and moving personal experience of life in education as an Aspie, and proves just how big a difference parents and professionals can make to children on the spectrum. Through his humorous and insightful speeches, Dean outlines his positive outlook on his Aspergers diagnosis. Dean is also an experienced journalist, having been published in local, regional, and international publications.

Awesome for Autism

Awesome for Autism

Anna Kennedy OBE
is an passionate and inspiring autism advocate, Trainer, Author and founder of ‘Anna Kennedy Online’. Anna, who has 2 autistic teenaged sons, took on the challenge of setting up schools, with the help of her husband. Relentlessly fundraising to provide an improved education and other facilities for autistic community. Anna has now won multiple National and International awards, for her incredible service to the autistic community. Anna is also well known for her time on the ‘Publics Strictly Come Dancing’ TV show, in aid of comic relief.

George the Poet

 

Sarah Chapman
An inspiring woman who campaigns for Dyslexia awareness and creates and hosts workshops for SEN. Sarah, who has Dyslexia herself, is the Winner of "Woman of the Year" and last year, Sarah won the "Positive Role Model: Disability" award, with the National Diversity Awards.  

George the Poet (George Mpanga) is an inspiring spoken word poet, known for his recent single "1-2,1-2". He is passionate about raising positive awareness of autism. I worked alongside George (and his Brother Kenny - who will become a role model on my next update) to create "the Stories from the Spectrum" Radio documentary for BBC Radio ONE. George is a Cambridge-educated wordsmith who has attracted attention and accolades with his socio-political verse and urban beats, including a nomination for the BBC Music Sound of 2015.


Daisy 
Daisy is 12, and always happy and smiling. Her friendliness, caring nature, incredible long term memory, happiness and positivity in the face of adversity, are big strengths, and gifts to her Autism.
Daisy is an inspiring role model because she demonstrates how someone with similar difficulties can achieve.


Daisy took part in an Autism Art Exhibition last month and due to her friendly, outgoing nature, she overcame some of the hurdles of Autism to tell visitors about her art work and her Autism.
True to her selfless manner, Daisy has run a charity run at the Olympic Park and will be taking part in Parallel London. Although she has hyper mobility and tires easily she has good willpower. Daisy is empowered by her understanding family and her dog, Barney, to keep positive, with lots of hobbies, baking, art, and she has taken part in school plays and is in her choir, singing in the school concerts.  

Simone Biles 
is the most decorated American gymnast in history, with 19 Olympic and World Championship medals. Thanks to her huge talent, passion, and perseverance she is one of the top gymnasts in the world, as well as a four-time winner of Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro. 
 Through years of hard work and determination, she has relied on her faith and family to stay focused and positive, using her ADHD to great effect, while having fun competing at the highest level and doing what she loves. 

Are you an Inspiring Role Model?

 If you, or someone you know, is an Inspiring Role Model (maybe you have finished your GCSE's, do some charity work or you're a really good friend) then please contact me. Send in your own personal stories (3-5 sentences) and a photo of you, or the person you think is a role model (The photo sent in to me will be displayed in the gallery below - and you must have permission to use someone else's photo and information).

My favorite stories, and the accompanying photo, will be placed in the 'Inspiring Role Model Gallery' below.






​Check out my Role Model Gallery to see who has already written in to become recognized as an Inspiring and Awesome Role Model!

Awesome for Autism!

Guy Martin
An inspiring English motorcycle racer, who also works as a TV presenter. In his No 1 best selling autobiography, Guy describes how he has recently been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. He has mainly competed in road racing events such as the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix. Martin has also found success as the front man of several television programmes focusing on his passions and specialised topics of interest regarding engineering, motor vehicles and speed.

Ben Rushgrove
An inspiring multi medal winning  paralympic athlete who has Cerebral Palsy. Ben has worked as a celebrity ambassador, helping to raise awareness of hearing loss. I met Ben when we both spoke at the Explore Diversity Conference.



UPDATED:
​Role Model Gallery

Chris Jarvis
An inspiring TV presenter and Charity ambassador. I met Chris at an Explore Diversity Conference where we both did a speech.  Chris is an inspiring TV presenter with CBEEBIES and does a lot of charity work, for instance, Chris is the face of "Round Table Children's Wish" (RTCW).

TV Presenter

​ Jonathan Brunot 
An inspiring marathon runner! Despite severe autism, Jonathan has found something he loves and excels at: running. To date he has completed 15 marathons. His success with running marathons has earned him the nick name "Autism Super Man".

Lucy Watts MBE

Inspiring Role Models

              Here you will find a host of Inspiring Role Models - people who inspire me, written in no particular order. Celebrities and people like you or I, who ooze enthusiasm and motivation, who will make you feel as if anything is possible.

Keep checking back to see my updated list of Role Models; you never know, you may find yourself in my Role Models Gallery (bottom of page).
Please note while most of these profiles have been written by me; some of these profiles and photos have been taken from public press release or Wikipedia.

Awesome for Autism!

J​on Adams
 An inspiring artist. Influenced by both his Asperger’s Syndrome and his synaesthesia, his work explores sense and sensitivity, and questions what the term ‘normal’ really means. Jon is the cultural ambassador for the National Autistic Society and has been recognized by the Royal Society of Arts for his art work raising positive profile of his disability Asperger's Syndrome.

Awesome for Autism

Awesome for Autism!

Awesome for Autism!

Awesome for Autism

Awesome for ADHD!

Alan Gardener
​ is an inspiring… yup, you guessed it, gardner! Alan is well known for his TV series called 'The Autistic Gardner', where he show cases his, and other competitors skills and sheer dedication as an garden designer. He was 15 when his love of gardening flourished. Over the years, Alan has created 40 Royal Horticultural Society gardens and won numerous awards at Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton Park. Alan also won a silver medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015. So, how does your garden grow? 

Awesome for Autism!

Paralympian

Awesome for Autism!

is an inspiring role model who has been made an MBE for her tireless work in educating others about the condition Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and for her outstanding work in the community. Lucy who has a life limiting illness is wheel-chair bound and fights a daily battle against bouts of chronic pain and fatigue. This does not seem to faze her; Lucy’s unwavering campaigning has helped influence lawmakers and government advisors by speaking in the House of Commons.

Evelyn Ashford
An inspiring
Specialist Educational Advocate and Legal Direction for Special Educational Needs.
Evelyn provides a supportive network for parents of those on the Autistic Spectrum
and as a result of her work, she has recently been nominated with the Excellence in Diversity Award again.

Rebecca Parkin
An inspiring 18 year old who has Autism. Rebecca has recently been a finalist to TWO National Diversity Awards. Rebecca is an Ambassador for Healthwatch, and a volunteer campaigner for different charities like NSPCC, Childline, Ambitious About Autism, YoungMinds, the National Children's Bureau and Council for Disabled Children. Through volunteering,
Rebecca gives speeches and workshops about her experiences with mental health and Autism.

Darl Hannah
is an inspiring actress, and environmental activist who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Most well known for her role in ‘Kill Bill’, and ‘Sense8’, a Netflix original, Hannah is also a passionate and motivated environmentalist, and it is her passion for the environment that inspires me most. Hannah, takes many leaps (and risks – not recomended) to help environmental change, and has travelled the world to record a documentary about sexual slavery. On top of her work within the environment, Hannah has won awards, including ‘Best Actress’, ‘Influencer of the Year’, ‘Environmental Activism’ and ‘Environmental Preservation’.

Emma Watson
 An inspiring well known actress, famous for playing Hermione Granger in the world wide movie sensations, Harry Potter. She was honoured by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2014, winning for British Artist of the Year. Watson was chosen as the Woman of the Year by British GQ. Emma was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality.

Ehlers–Danlos activist

Stephen Wiltshire
​is an artist who draws and paints detailed cityscapes. He has a particular talent for drawing lifelike, accurate representations of cities, sometimes after having only observed them briefly. This is a gift I think is thanks to his Autism- an ability to notice and memoriese so many details thats others dont notice.
He was awarded an MBE for services to the art world in 2006. He studied Fine Art at City & Guilds Art College. His work is popular all over the world, and is held in a number of important collections. 

Paralympian


Alan Turing OBE, FRS
is an inspring role model who was believed to have had Aspergers Syndrome, due to his high IQ, obsessive behaviours and astounding and blunt honesty. Alan Turing was a British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist.  Alan invented the first ever computer (according to my research) and even broke the Nazi's Enigma code; winning World War 2 and saving millions of lives! Recently, Benedict Cumberbatch starred as Alan Turing in the recent film "The Imitation Game".


Actress and womans right activivist

 Disability and Brain Tumour Activist

Dan Aykroyd
Dan is an inspiring actor, comedian and Musical performer who has Tourettes and Aspergers Syndrome. Well known for ‘GhostBusters’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’, Dan Aykroyd has revealed that his Aspergers Syndrome helped to fuel his original interest in the paranormal, which then manifested itself with the film, Ghostbusters.
Aside from his work in the media, Dan also supports many charities. In 2009, Aykroyd contributed a series of reminiscences on his upbringing in Canada for a charity album titled Dan Aykroyd's Canada. Aykroyd helped start the Blue Line Foundation, which is redeveloping flood-damaged lots in New Orleans and helping first responders buy them at reduced prices. 

Awesome for Autism