Birthday magic for autism support group in Middleton Cheney

Charlotte Olivia Owens on stage with Karen Irvani NNL-181007-153253001
Charlotte Olivia Owens on stage with Karen Irvani NNL-181007-153253001

There were reasons galore to celebrate when autism support group Parents Talking Asperger’s held a birthday party at its Middleton Cheney headquarters.

More than 50 members and associated professionals came together at The Baptist Centre to celebrate the group’s sixth birthday on July 1.

Founder and autism mum Karen Irvani said: “Not only was the weather scorching but our children and young people excelled themselves by having the courage to speak and perform.

“People with autism generally find communicating quite difficult so to overcome those challenges – and associated anxiety – and stand up in front of an audience was remarkable. I am in awe of them.

“Six years ago, I was an autism parent who didn’t know other parents in a similar situation.

“Worse, my son didn’t know any other children or young people like him. Today, six years on, we are all PTA family and it is life-changing.”

Proceedings got under way with a photo-shoot, followed by a video presentation depicting the year’s successes and achievements.

Several young speakers then stood up and shared what PTA meant to them, among them Charlotte Olivia Owens, 21, Charlie Shepherd, 19, Millie Mae Pinker, 8, and Arun Bhanu, 6.

Emily Bushrod, 16, sang two songs, accompanying herself both on ukulele and guitar, then there were number of parent speakers.

A buffet-style banquet followed and everyone then went into the grounds where the young people played games and adults sat and watched.

For more details on the group, go to