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Chewigem | Lorraine

I approached Richie to become an Ambassador for Chewigem because he is a genuine likeable down to earth guy. He is very passionate about helping people which fits in with our ethos perfectly. Our community immediately took to him and he has already helped so many people with sensory seeking. I love how he is just himself. I would highly recommend Awesometistic for those who are looking for unique autism training from someone who lives it daily.


Volunteer | Suzanne

I approached Richie to become a volunteer for Awesometistic a few years ago. my son is autistic and he has helped me understand more about my son but also developed my own knowledge of autism so I can listen to my sons needs and help find his voice. Richie understands and explains autism like I have never heard before he shares is own insight of his difficulties in a way I can relate but also adopt to my own sons needs. working with Richie is a fantastic experience and when we run parent support groups it is so rewarding to pass on the knowledge I have learnt over the last fe years. 

Parent | Angela

Richie Smith has helped me understand my little boy so much more than anyone else he has answered any questions I have had from meltdown stimming putting everything in his mouth and wanting to play with his poo I have had honest clear answers Richie has helped me so much and if I need advise I know where to go thank you Richie Smith

What People have to Say

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Parent | Jade

Richie's story helped me see that my little boy as a brilliant chance of a great future. As a parent I worry so much about the future, sometimes it feels like I worry more about the future than what's happening here and now. Hearing Richie's story gave me hope and an insight into adult autism. He is so positive about autism and never hides who he is. All children should be given the confidence to feel happy about their autistic traits and Richie promotes this. Different is not less, and Richie is the perfect person to show this. Thank you to Richie!


Parent | Nichola Dale

As a parent of a young child, who was at the start of assessments for Autism. I was unprepared and scared for the road ahead. But 1 meeting with Richie put me at ease and showed me Autism is not a awful life sentence. The exact opposite! He showed me Autism doesn’t hold you back! He answered all my questions and explained why my daughter was doing certain things such as stimming and chewing. Richie continues to be a support if I ever need him. I would 100% recommend him for training, he shows us Autism truely is Awesome!

Chewigem CEO | Jenny

Richie is the perfect person to deliver training as he has autism himself, but also his character is such that he is engaging, genuine and compelling. What better person to deliver training than someone who lives it all daily, but also has a great understanding of how it is unique for all. He himself has been through so much, but this has empowered him to dedicate his life to helping others. I can promise everyone will learn something from Richie that they can take away and use from spending time with Richie.

Richie you were awesome! To hold an audience for an hour the way you did was just fascinating to see. I think the fact it comes from your own experiences makes it so engaging. The staff I spoke to in the car park agreed you were fab. I had spoken so highly of you that they had big expectations and you did not disappoint. Well done!

Gemma Jeynes, Head Teacher, Vally View Primary School 09.18


Wow! Thank you so much for our staff training today. What an inspirational gentleman. I know our families will get so much from your insight next week too!

Angela Newbrook / Deputy Head / September 2018 / Vally View Primary School

Richie came to do training with us at sue Hedley Nursery and through his advice i purchased a few chews from chewigem. We have used them gfor the first time today and my daughter managed a whole trip and a nap without needing her dummy!! Thanks for your advice Richie!! X

Nichola Dale / Parent / May 2018 / Sue Hedley Nursery School

Richie came to Washington and shared his personal story with autism and answered so many of my queries I had with my son without me having to say a word! Thank you so much! 

Charlie Longstaff / Parent / Sep 2018 / Oxclose Community nursery

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your talk today at Oxclose Nursery. Me and My husband really enjoyed it and feel you have given us a wonderful insight into Austim. Our little boy Bay has been diagnosed Autistic he is 2. Your knowledge and story has helped and I'm sure will help many others. I think it's amazing what you are doing and you have helped me understand my son so much more.Truly. You are wonderful and thank you so much. I hope to continue to be involved in spreading your wonderful service .
Thank you so much.

Met Richie today . It's so refreshing to have the insight because it's hard diagnoises to understand . More so for our Boy. We are just learning what he's capable of and he blows our mind everyday. I really think that every parent should get to meet you . Highly recommend Awesomtistic . Your an inspiration 

Lauren Harris / Parent / Sep 2018 / Oxclose Community nursery

It was great to learn about autism from someone who has autism as the children I work with can’t tell me what the need, what works for them and what doesn’t so a lot of it is guess work. Richie gave me a bigger understand of what children might be feeling and how to help them succeed. Such a fantastic person with an amazing positive approach. Would highly recommend.

Kirsty Dalton / Staff member / Sep 2018 / Oxclose Community nursery

Awesome! You’re an inspiration Ritchie! Brilliant session, interesting and very helpful to us all. Keep up the good work xx

Julie Emmerson / Parent / Sep 2018 / Oxclose Community nursery

Can honestly say it was the most inspirational talk I have attended in my 20 years of working in a nursery. Thank you for sharing your story with us x

Kirsty Dalton / Staff Member / Sep 2018 / Oxclose Community nursery

Awesome talk. Helped me understand more about my daughter. Thank you for taking the time to come & talk to us x

Sharon Adams / Parent / Sep 2018 / Pennywell Early Years Centre

Richie did a training session tonight for our group, amazing! Hearing first hand from someone who has autism rather than professionals who try to tell you what they think it’s like was a breath of fresh air. Honest, informative, didn’t want the session to end. Thank you Richie. Could not recommend enough. 5 stars

Laura Gillespie  / Staff Member / Sep 2018 / Jesmond Nursery

You truly are inspirational and was lovely to meet you today. I sincerely hope that you will go from strength to strength from now on in sharing how positive outcomes can be. We need more positive radiators of energy like you in our lives

Fiona Lister / Parent / Oct 2018 / Perth Green Community Centre

It was a pleasure to meet you and have you work along side us !!
I’m sure we can make some awesome changes and help adults and children realise just how awesome they can be.
You really are such a inspiration for so many we work with and help so thank you.

Nicquina Herd  / Parent  / Oct 2018 / Perth Green Community Centre

Thank you for making my day. My heart smiled after meeting you today

Claire Bennett  / Parent / Oct 2018 / Perth Green Community Centre

Really enjoyed listening to your talk tonight at Pennywell Early Years. You’re doing a fab job and such an inspiration to others. Hope all goes well with opening your own sensory room!

Bethany  / Staff Member / Oct 2018 / Pennywell Early years nursery

Can I say a huge thank you for the inspirational talk you gave at Gateshead Library this morning. I am the lady with the 16 year old son with autism. I could have sat there and listened to you all day. You answered so many questions about why my son does some things that he does. Afterwards I just sat in the car and cried with relief that my son is going to be ok. Thank you so much for that. Keep up the good work.

Catherine Allen   / Staff Member / Parent / Oct 2018 / Gateshead Library 

Thank you for the amazing talk you gave to us at Gateshead Library yesterday. I knew a little about autism but to hear it from someone who actually lives with it was extremely powerful. The things you go through every day then to want to help others is truly AMAZING!! Stay AWESOME!! Jill x

Jill Foster / Staff Member / Oct 2018 / Gateshead Library 

Thank you so much for talking to us today, you really are an inspiration with so much to be proud of. I could have listened to you for hours .

Janet Scott / Staff Member / Oct 2018 / Geenland community school

Going to be our local hero. 

Claire Bennett  / Parent / Staff Member / Oct 2018 / Stronger Together

This school is awesome and with the "awesometistic" magic touch can be even more so!!

Claire Sewell / Staff Member / Oct 2018 / Stronger Together

Met this guy this week through training at work, what a legend, a true inspirational speaker and truly awesome guy!!! Good luck with your ventures.

Maria Buckley / Staff Member / Oct 2018 / Gateshead library

Thank you so much! We found your talk so interesting and we are looking forward to working with you!

Staff Member / Oct 2018 / Autism Outreach Team Sunderland

You were amazing thanks for sharing everything with us it must have been hard x

Fiona Craik  / Parent / Oct 2018 / Autism Outreach Team Sunderland

I was there today and found your story amazing, I enjoyed listening and found it really insightful. I could not have stood up there and spoke the way you did. Amazingly well done

Gail Bell  / Parent / Oct 2018 / Autism Outreach Team Sunderland

Had a fantastic talk of you today at Greenland school. You are such an inspiration and very brave to sit their in front of so many parents firing questions at you about their lives and sitting answering them all, to make life better for our children. Wish you all the luck as I think you fully deserve it 

Donna Robson / Parent / Oct 2018 / Geenland community school

Where to start.. I attended a coffee morning at Greenland school with you and I must say I really think you are awesome and what you are doing is incredible. Raising awareness, giving parents and teachers an insight through sharing your personal story is such a selfless positive and brave thing to do. I loved the meeting and think your ideas are approach are fantastic and I look forward to reading your book. I wish u all the luck for the future, you deserve it and more.

Kirsty Shotton  / Parent / Oct 2018 / Geenland community school

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us on the Jigsaw training today, you were amazing. So much of what you spoke about gave us ideas for strategies we can use to help our son. Keep up the awesome work! 

Pauline Walton  / Parent / Nov 2018 / Sunderland autism Outreach Team

Thank you for all your words of wisdom today. You were very honest and open, and your advice and positivity invaluable.

Sara Cowell  / Parent / Nov 2018 / Sunderland autism Outreach Team

You visited my son’s school & as a mum of a little person who is awesome, I would love to hear what you have to say as long as you feel that you have the support you need to do it. What you are doing already is inspirational. You are a great positive role model for children and their futures

Stephanie James / Parent / Nov 2018 

An amazingly enlightening talk from Richie today at Newcastle/Gateshead CYPS! I learnt so much and want to hear more! Hoping that we can encourage our Trust to collaborate with Richie in the future as i feel we have so much more to learn from him! Thank you!

Emily Thompson / Staff Memeber/ NTW CYPS / Nov 2018 / Northumberland Tyne & Wear Nhs Foundation Trust

Paula Winter / Staff Memeber/ NTW CYPS / Nov 2018 / Northumberland Tyne & Wear Nhs Foundation Trust

It was fantastic thank you so much!! The insights were great both professionally and personally (my son has recently been diagnosed)

Lorraine Hebdon / Staff Memeber/ NTW CYPS / Nov 2018 / Northumberland Tyne & Wear Nhs Foundation Trust

Was a fantastic session, thank you so much. So insightful and I definitely came away inspired and with a different view point on many aspects of autism. Thanks again

Jane Foster / Staff Memeber/ NTW CYPS / Nov 2018 / Northumberland Tyne & Wear Nhs Foundation Trust

The LD/PBS team loved having you with us on our away day. You were awesome! Hope we can see you again someday soon. We loved having you share your story with us. You were awesome! I’ve got some amazing feedback from the team- I’ll send it to you in an email. Thanks again

Kate Stockley / Staff Memeber/ NTW CYPS / Nov 2018 / Northumberland Tyne & Wear Nhs Foundation Trust

Richie, you were absolutely fab! What an amazing and insightful talk! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Emma Gordon / Staff Memeber/ NTW CYPS / Nov 2018 / Northumberland Tyne & Wear Nhs Foundation Trust

I find what you told me very educational if I’m honest. Stuff that papers and leaflets can’t tell you, it’s real and experienced by you. Helps parents understand what’s going on inside their own children

Nichola Winthrop / Parent / Nov 2018 / Odd Socks Foundation 

Very good to have the perspective of someone with autism- particularly around your sensory experiences and the feedback you get from those.  Your expertise is invaluable for the children/adults with ASD, families and professionals. Thank You!!!!


·         Very informative and interesting to hear your personal experiences. Really enjoyed your talk! Thank you


·         It was really helpful to be able to understand more about the experiences of someone with Autism and for you to help us to try and get it more. And to tell us the what not to do’s! Thanks


·         Very interesting and helpful being able to understand some of your experiences. It has helped me to understand the needs of some of the young people I work with and to ‘look outside the box and see the bigger picture’ Thank you!!


·         Very interesting and more informative to hear of your personal experiences and how you have used this in managing everyday life. Thank you so much.


·         Loved your presentation – my son is currently going through assessment and this really helped me understand some of his traits. You would be fantastic training in schools also!


·         Very informative, Richie was highly engaging, highlighted the need to look at things from everyday angle. Good Luck for the future Richie!


·         You did a fantastic job in exploring and explaining your own personal experience, which was beneficial for professionals working with learning disabilities as well as autism. I hope your project develops and you continue to inspire children with autism not to repress their needs, but further explore and be proud of them! Never stop being awesome!


·         Very interesting insights articulated. This has given me a lot of food for thought for my work. I think your positive style of viewing and working with mental health difficulties will work very well.


·         I very much enjoyed your talk it was very informative and will most definitely make me think about how I approach those with autism and be sure to not generalise.

Kate / Staff / Nov 2018 /  Community Nurse Practitioner – Learning Disabilities Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust CYPS Newcastle/Gateshead

I work at Fellgate Primary school within the Autistic Base and listened to your amazing story tonight on your journey through life with Autism.Just felt I needed to let you know how inspirational you were.You spoke from the heart in a room full of strangers and that takes guts!.I am glad you felt you could be yourself and felt at home in the base that was heart warming to hear.I hope we get to work with you again as I think we could learn so much from you and you would be an asset to our school .

I wish you and kirsty every success for the future and hope we see you again soon .In the 27 years I have worked for South Tyneside Council this was the best training and insight into life with Autism I have ever listened to.

Lisa Henderson / Staff Member / Nov 2018 / Fellgate Primary School 

absolutely fantastic session today, so personal and insightful x can't wait too see how your venture develops!!

Lorraine Hebdon / Staff Member / Nov 2018 / NHS

absolutely fantastic session today, so personal and insightful x can't wait too see how your venture develops!!

Suzanne Mutch / Staff Member / Nov 2018 / Fellgate Autisn Unit

Great talk today at St Matthews School. Your work is so important to help all the families and teachers out there have a better understanding of autism, keep up the good work and thank you!

Sonia Graham / Parent / Nov 2018 / St mathews Primary School

Thank you for a wonderfully engaging talk today at St Matthews 
I really feel like I have learnt some things about my son through you. 
You are an inspiration

Rachael Branthwaite / Parent / Nov 2018 / St Mathews Primary school

Hi Ritchie,

I would like to start by saying "You are phenomenal". 

What you delivered to us in the space of 1 hour was more meaningful than all the lectures, training and professionals I've sat and listened to in the 24 year of teaching children with both special needs and specifically Autism. 


You could give so much to our young people that not one of us teachers could give them in the time they are with us in our school. You have made a huge impact on us all as both teachers and human beings and we would welcome you with open arms if you returned in the future.


It was lovely to hear about the wonderful Kirsty and your lovely children.They are so lucky to have a Dad and husband like you, an Ambassador for Autism.


I wish you the best of luck in your ventures.


Sandra ( school SENCo)

Sandra Godfrey / Staff / Nov 2018 / Fellgate Primary school Autistic unit

Thank you so much for your talk tonight at Santander Washington, it was a privilege to listen to your life story so far, you were awesome tonight you are an inspiration . Big hugs x
All parents of autistic children and teachers/health professionals working with autisic people need to meet Richie to hear his story and to hear how he is helping to improve the lives of those on the autism spectrum

Alison Henshaw / Staff / Nov 2018 / Santander Washington

I’ve just had the pleasure of listening to Richie speak about his personal experiences. It’s absolutely fascinating as a parent of a 17 year old young man with autism who is non verbal to try and get a further insight into actually living with autism and trying to understand it more. Thank you so much I could’ve listened to you all day and hope other organisations use your knowledge to help parents and professionals as what better way to learn than from people like you who can tell it like it actually is. You are amazing.

Louise Henderson / Staff and parent / December 2018 / Autism Out Reach Team

I was in one of your talks this afternoon and all I can say is what you are doing is amazing. It gave me and my husband a massive insight into how our son feels on a daily basis. It gave us more understanding on what we can do to support him and some of the aids you showed us looked very good. I would recommend your talk to anyone who wishes to understand autism more and how it makes people like my son feel and what it is like living with this every day. I would defiantly go to one of your sessions in the future again thank you again it was a brilliant session.

Kate Duke / Parent / December 2018 / Autism Out Reach Team

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