Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Comedian Ashley Blaker's Show @ Komedia Brighton Highlights Challenges & Rewards Of Raising Three Children With Special Education Needs

Comedian Ashley Blaker has six children, three of whom have a Special Education Needs (SEN) diagnosis. 
Credit: Steve Ullathorne

Between the children there is autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, speech and language disorders, heart defects, hearing loss, mobility issues, sensory needs and gastroenterological problems.

As Ashley says:

"You know you've got a lot going on when Great Ormond Street Hospital give you your own parking space." 

It's certainly not what anyone would call a 'normal' household, but Ashley wouldn't want it any other way.

Ashley's story is one which parents, carers and teachers of children with SEN will particularly relate to, but his heart-warming tour, like the book (Normal Schmormal) and radio series (Ashley Blaker: 6.5 Children), will appeal to any parent who believes love and acceptance are the most important building blocks of a happy family.

Ashley added:

"Being a parent is tough and raising kids with special needs is even tougher. 

"That's why I am delighted to share our story with people and hopefully provide some much-needed light relief. 

"Thankfully our kids provide so much comic material this has all taken much less time to write than you might imagine."

Ashley Blaker is a comedian, writer and father. He has performed two Off-Broadway shows, toured five continents and had several programmes on BBC Radio 4 including his family series Ashley Blaker: 6.5 Children, which has been the number one stand-up show on BBC Sounds.

In 2023, HarperCollins published his debut book Normal Schmormal: My occasionally helpful guide to parenting kids with special needs. 

It is a part-comic memoir and part how-to guide and highlights the challenges and rewards of raising a family which doesn"t fit into society"s definition of 'normal'. 

Ashley Blaker comes to Komedia Brighton on Thursday 27th June 2024. CLICK HERE for tickets.

by: Mike Cobley


Credit Jo Charlesworth

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