warren allott /daily telegraph Daily Telegraph Portraits of Ryan Wiggins. He is pictured at his school in Watford in some of the pictures he he photographed with his own guitar which he loves to play.

Ryan Wiggins, Young Patron of charity Anna Kennedy Online and contestant on Autism’s Got Talent, has created a video for Anti-Bullying Week entitled Tomorrow

14-year-old Autism’s Got Talent contestant, Ryan Wiggins, has created a powerful video in association with Anna Kennedy Online for Anti-Bullying Week (November 16 to November 20).

Ryan is a Young Patron of a local charity called “Anna Kennedy Online”, which helps to promote the inclusion and equality of children and adults with an autism spectrum condition. The charity was founded by Hillingdon’s Anna Kennedy OBE.

The teenager, who comes from Watford, has Asperger’s syndrome and has taken up singing as a way of dealing with bullies; he can play the guitar and writes his own songs, showcasing his abilities on Autism’s Got Talent last year.

Ryan said: “I got my first guitar as a birthday present from my Nan when I was about five and I taught myself how to play.”

Jo, Ryan’s mother, explained that performing has helped her son’s confidence enormously. She said: “Ryan comes alive and nothing fazes him or bothers him. He is in his element.

“Ryan sometimes finds it difficult to interact socially with other children and this is a real achievement for him. He is following his dream and not worrying about what other people think.

“Performing allows him to enjoy himself, as well as mix with all walks of life. Ryan, as a young Patron, thinks it is great. It gives him a stepping stone and gives autistic kids a chance, and he can make a difference alongside Anna.”

The film Ryan has made for Anti-Bullying Week, entitled Tomorrow, highlights the fear and sadness children can experience if they are bullied, as well as conveying a message of hope & has been met with support, one user commented this on his video…

Ryan,

As a man of 27 with Aspergers, I’ve been exactly where you are. Liking to dress well. Being a little awkward. The scars. I’m here to tell you one thing. It gets better. Truly, it does. Don’t make the mistake I did at 16. Don’t choose to give up. Your mind functions in a way those kids just won’t understand. But I do. Those kids who bully and pick on you? Watch them. Study them. The same behavior that makes them popular today makes them unattractive to date, undesirable to employ and unable to be around tomorrow. You should feel sorry for their tomorrow, not your own. You have the mind of an adult (possibly a genius!) in the body of a child, and your peers don’t understand. So they make fun of it, and it makes them ‘popular’. I went through it all, too. I’m not here to give you a hand-holding molly-coddling speech. When life pushes you down, get back up, wipe off the blood and calmly say “That’s the best you got?”. Just push through it, and you’ll see. When you’re my age you’ll be the one with the money, the knowledge and the temperament that women (or men) want to date, high-status jobs want to hire and people want to hang with. But none of that happens if you let them win. These words may be little consolation today, and I understand. But when tomorrow finally comes, you’ll see I was right. I’m living your tomorrow today, and today looks pretty damn good.

Sincerely,

Tom Mccmorrow

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Brent Lindeque
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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