The lessons Ava taught me:

1.You don’t have to show the world how you are feeling. Sometimes reflecting in your own head is as useful.
2.Even when we are feeling at our worst and most vulnerable, we always leave a door slightly open for joy; eventually it will come in.
3.Be brash; people can take it.


Dear Flute Theatre

My name is ‘innocent’ otherwise known as Ava. I have autism. I was the cheeky one that called Kelly Susan Boyle.
I would like to tell you that you were really good performers in Pericles. I really liked your faces, especially the actor whose eyes were coming out of his head, and Hepzi, who stuck out her tongue.
My favourite game was when I was the assassin and I had to hide and say ‘Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa’. I liked this game because it was naughty and mischievous like me.
I also liked going right up to the screen and giving you ‘The Look’. I liked dancing the Tango and spinning and running at the end.
The play made me feel really happy and excited. It was so much fun. It also made me feel very relaxed.
This play is important to people with autism because during lockdown there is a lack of routine and stimulation and structure. Everything is upside down, everything has stopped and it can make you feel stressed and anxious. Using different movements and facial expressions is a way for people express themselves in a way they can’t verbalise. It takes you away from the stress.

Thanks for coming to St. John’s.