Aquayemi-Claude Garnett Akinsanya (Claude)
Name: Aquayemi-Claude Garnett Akinsanya (Claude)
ND Type/s: Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia , Autistic Spectrum (ASD), Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Epilepsy which is managed
What do you do: Student, author, campaigner, youth delegate, entrepreneur, keynote public speaker and philanthropist
Where do you live: London, England
How did you start your day – do you have a morning routine. And what do you have for breakfast, do think a good diet is important?
I am a person who likes to have a routine. I can find it hard being out of a routine and as I have not been in formal education for 5 years, this is a challenge for me and I still find it hard at times.
How do you stay active?
By keeping my mind active, for example; reading, creative art, dance, swimming, horse riding and song writing.
What do you do to relax?
Do you have a favourite word or phrase?
I believe in what I like to call ‘Signature Uniqueness’. It means that we are all unique and that our uniqueness is our signature.
Have you read, watched or seen anything good recently? Is there a book, play or film that changed your life?
I recently saw a film which I loved from the beginning to the end. It’s called Abominable
Which 5 albums would you want to have with you on a desert island?
Michael Jackson – Heal the World
Anne Marie – Therapy
James Brown – Revolution of the Mind: Live at the Apollo, Volume III
Nina Simone – The Very Best of Nina Simone
Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?
Be the best version of yourself – from my Mother
When you were young, what did you want to be when you were a grown-up? And what was your first Job?
To be a photographer and travel the world.
What do you do now and how did you get into it?
I am a student, author, youth delegate, campaigner, keynote public speaker, entrepreneur, singer songwriter and philanthropist. I am a campaigner for equality, inclusion, education, peace, justice, mental health and well-being. I created ‘Claudes SEN Law’, because of my own educational journey of being denied a SEN education. I want to help create an inclusive world for Neurodiverse people with hidden disabilities.
Creativity and thinking differently are often credited to neurodiversity. Would you say that is true? And if yes, could you give an example?
Yes, because we have the ability to think outside the box with innovation and creativity, coming up with ideas that were never considered before.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus, what do you do to get back on track? Do you have any hacks, tips or do you use any apps to keep you on track during the day?
Meditation helps me and I also listen to music all day and all night long – sometimes I write songs or poems.
What makes you happy?
When I know what is happening in my life. And also music.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Writing my first book and getting it published.
Does your neurodiversity have an impact on the way you approach relationships?
No because I am all about focusing on myself right now. I need to love myself before I can love anyone else.
If given the choice, right now, to start over again – ND or not ND?
Without question I would not change a thing about who I am today. I love my ‘Signature Uniqueness’ abilities, identity and personality.
Do you have a Positive ND message to the world? Imagine you have a £5 million advertising campaign to spend on billboards all over the world, what would you say?
My message for the world would be: It is time for people to not hold back their hidden abilities and disabilities. We are all beautifully created with our ‘Signature Uniqueness’ and we all have abilities that can make us grow. My advice for life is to be bold, tell yourself, friends, families, and maybe even the world that you are beautiful and that you love your uniqueness because you have the ability change and to have confidence in yourself.
Final question – where can people find out more about you? Do you have a website and social media pages?