Meet The Team
Team Member @ Awesometistic | Richard Smith
Growing up without a diagnoses of ASD was difficult to say the least, i struggled immensely with everyday life and didn't understand where I fit into the world. I did all these different behaviour’s that at the time I didn't understand why I was doing them but really struggled to stop. As I have felt throughout life I have had to hide away and compress everything deep inside I have learnt a lot about myself and become very self aware which I feel puts me in a very good position to help families, businesses, schools or the general public learn more about ASD and how they can change their environment or their behaviour to help people that have ASD. Finding out i had autism was hard for me to deal with at start and the wait for the diagnosis made me loose my identity, This made me reliase a lot about who i am and who i want to be from this point forward. This is why i decided that i want to spend my life raising awareness of autism. I can only ever talk about my own autism and needs but if someone takes something away from me that has helped even a little then i am a happy man.
Team Member @ Awesometistic | Tanya Middleton
I first met Richie when we worked together more than fifteen years ago. Since then our journeys have taken us in different directions. Personally I lived in Florida for a couple of years before coming back home and training to be a primary school teacher. This was when I began working with children with autism. From that moment, supporting and helping children with autism became an issue very close to my heart.
I spent three years teaching in primary schools before I made the decision to leave, partly because there isn’t enough support in mainstream schools for children with autism and other needs. I felt like I could be doing more. I am now self employed as an Education Expert for Nudge Education. We work with children and young people who cannot access mainstream education, due to many reasons, autism being one of them. We work 1:1 with the child or young person for twelve weeks, by which time they should be ready to gradually enter into mainstream again.
When the opportunity arose to work with Richie and Awsometistic, I jumped at the chance. I think he is a very passionate and driven individual and I can’t wait to see where we can take Awsometistic.
Meet The Ambassadors
Team Member @ Awesometistic | Suzanne McCue
Senior Executive Assistant
I first meet Richie, after a friend told me about him and how amazing he is, how he promotes autism and how ‘it’s ok to be me’
So I decided to follow him on Facebook, my friend said that it would helpful due to having a autistic child.
I soon became very impressed by all the work he was doing trying to promote autism.
I arranged to meet Richie, after getting over the feeling of meeting a superstar I was completely blown away by his awesome story he has not only helped me to understand autism better but has also helped my 10 year old son.
I now feel Richie is a friend for life and I will continue to support him in whatever way I can.
Keep being awesome Richie.
Team Member @ Awesometistic | Kelly Turnbull
Richie first turned up on my radar when he kept popping up in my Facebook feed. As a parent of a teenager with autism and my work with adults with learning disabilities I’m in many Facebook groups and Richie was becoming a regular feature. After meeting him I could see why! His enthusiasm and commitment to not only helping people with autism but also helping people understand autism by putting himself out there is inspiring.
My professional background is in performing arts, 15 years ago we formed Liberdade a physical theatre company for adults with learning disabilities and autism. Our mission from the beginning was to raise expectations, not just directly with the people we work with but also what society expect from people with learning disabilities. 15 years later our company not only continue to create high quality theatre we also run our own building Gosforth Civic Theatre providing a community arts venue in the heart of Gosforth.
Being a parent of someone with autism can be very lonely and you’re left feeling very lost, the insight which Richie brings to parents is invaluable and I am incredibly proud to be helping him in his journey to show people that being autistic can be awesome.
Meet The Ambassadors
My name is jay i am 4 years old i was diagnoised with autism when i was 2 I am non verbal I am a happy, bright little boy who is loving life due to my parents and grandparents giving me the support I need. They are so understanding and learning more each day about autism. I started to go to a play group that was run for autistic children and this help me alot as it was quiet and I could be myself. I have now started special needs school and this is helping me alot as I get the support I need. Richie is helping my family with any questions or concerns they have to help support me. I think Richie is doing a great job raising awareness and supporting schools and family's. He is awesome
I don’t know what life is like without autism because I’ve always been autistic. Having such an understanding Mam has meant that I can always be me and I think that has really helped me to be the person I am today. If I wasn’t autistic I would be a different person and I don’t like the thought of that. Awesometistic is amazing, I wish Someone like Richie had been to my first school because they didn’t understand me at all. But knowing that Richie is doing this and helping other schools to understand children like me makes me Really happy
I am a Mam to an autistic teen. I believe that being an understanding nurturing parent is key to raising an amazing autistic person. Awesometistic is amazing, I love what Richie is doing and see so much of my daughter in him. One day I hope that she will do something like this to help share her knowledge and experience.
Richie is an amazing role model to so many people.
Hi everyone my name is Maxwell I’m 6. I was lucky enough to get a diagnosis of Autism at 3 it took 18 months but in place before I started my amazing SEN school. I went to the nursery at the school which was mainstream and SEN combined and they really helped me with getting my EHCP which makes such a difference to me when it comes to all things school. I was non verbal until 5 and now have limited language and use signing and pictures to help. My classes at school only have 6-8 friend in and this has really helped my confidence and development. I really love it there. I really love everything about life, and people always say I’m always smiling. I do suffer from extreme anxiety, so don’t always smile on the inside, but mummy and school always make sure my needs are met to keep it to a minimum. My favourite things after flapping and running in circles are, buses and numbers. My mummy told me that Richie is Awesome, so he must be! We think what Ritchie does is not only Awesome but amazing. Ritchie has shown great courage this year and by sharing his story and experiences he spreads so much awareness and understanding. We love you Ritchie Ribbon x