South Oxhey teenager performs to crowds at Autism's Got Talent

Watford Observer: Left to right: Lucy (Ryan's sister), Anna Kennedy, Ryan and Jo Left to right: Lucy (Ryan's sister), Anna Kennedy, Ryan and Jo

A teenager from South Oxhey who took up singing as a way to overcome bullies performed in front of hundreds at Autism’s Got Talent at the weekend.

Ryan Wiggins, of Hindhead Green, has Asperger’s and writes his own songs, performing them on his guitar.

The 13-year-old sang and played Adele’s Someone Like You at the national competition on May 10.

The event, which was in its fifth year, was organised by Anna Kennedy. The performers consisted of singers, gymnastics, actors, musicians and dance troupes.

Hundreds of people, including some well-know faces from television, flocked to the event at the Mermaid Theatre, in London.

His mother, Jo, said it was a great event and that she was overwhelmed at the support the performers and their families received.

She said: "The whole experience has opened different outlets for us and Ryan’s been asked to perform in an autism show at the London Excel centre next month.

"It was really an eye opener. I didn’t even know much about the competition before but it was lovely how much everyone supported eachother."

The event has been designed to showcase what people with Austism and Asperger’s have to offer, as well as boost their confidence and lead to new friendships.

Autism’s Got Talent has grown in popularity each year and this time it was supported by celebrities including Carrie and David Grant and Lennox Lewis, sparking a lot of interest on social media.

Ms Wiggins added: ""We had an amazing night and everyone made us feel so welcome. We made friends with people that I know will become a big part of our life. The atmosphere in the theatre was electrifying. I was so proud."

Last year, Ryan reached the final of the TeenStar talent competition.

The Northwood School Year 8 pupil’s hobbies include acting and singing, and is considering pursuing them as a career when he is older, although he also has an aptitude for computers.

His mother sent a TeenStar link to the Autism’s Got Talent judges after finding out about the competition online.

The pair are now looking forward to The Autism Show, which will take place on June 13 and 14.

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