what is autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that is characterized by difficulties in
the development of social relationships and communication skills. People with autism
are seen as having unusually strong and narrow interests and repetitive behavior.
Whilst some individuals are able to live relatively independent lives; others will require
a lifetime of specialist support.

The Facts




Credit: The National Autistic Society (NAS).

Facts Facts Facts Facts
Autism Facts

How to

To people with autism, the world is often a mass of people, places and events which
they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them significant amount of
physical and emotional stress. In particular, understanding, and relating to friends
and family or to taking part in everyday life may be incredibly difficult often leaving
them feeling isolated and alone – instead they wonder why they are ‘different’.

What on earth is
autism rocks?

An avid passion for music, an insurmountable love for his 4-year-old son and an unexpected cup of tea with possibly the most famous rapper in the world, ‘Snoop Dogg’, British born philanthropist Sanjay Shah had a light bulb moment. "What if I could stage gigs around the world to raise money for autism research". A cause incredibly close to his heart since youngest son, Nikhil, was diagnosed with the condition in 2011.

And so it began; launching in 2014 with an invite only performance in London with none other than the musical icon Prince, who is sadly no longer with us. Sanjay Shah has gone to involve Autism Rocks as the charity of choice at private shows with Lenny Kravitz, Michael Bublè and Drake to name a few, and he's only just getting started!

Where is my
donation going?

All funds raised will go to the Autism Research Trust (ART). The ART in turn supports research by the Autism Research Centre (ARC) based at Cambridge University, which works to understand the cause and effects of autism.

Thanks thus far to the funds raised via Autism Rocks, the ARC has 15 ongoing, long-term research projects that aim to find methods of identifying, as early as possible, who will develop autism, and then evaluate specific interventions and support, to aid them through the rest of their lives.



Sanjay Shah


Born in London, he has lived with his family in Dubai since 2009. His youngest son was diagnosed with autism in 2011, at the age of two years. This motivated Mr Shah to support the autism community and learn more about his son’s condition. Mr Shah spent several years on trading desks at a number of banks in London until he decided to establish his own firm. As well as this venture, he manages a real estate portfolio and has several investments across the globe including banks, publishing and hospitality.



Peter Best

As Mr Shah’s friend since university days, Peter has recently become a trustee. He has a long and illustrious career spanning 21 years in the financial markets sector in London, and was most recently Chief Operating Officer at ICAP, a leading brokerage firm. At the end of 2015, he left this role to pursue his interests in family, health, London’s startup scene and worthy causes. Peter lives in London with his wife and two young children.



Will Best

Will started his career in the music world during his university days, organising underground music events in Manchester. After a brief foray into advertising he was lured back into music as a TV presenter hosting music shows for various channels, which he still does both in the UK and internationally. In 2013, frustrated with the experience of sharing and discovering music in an increasingly fragmented online environment, Will co-founded audiosplitter.fm, a new music focused social network and streaming service. Currently in the process of fully launching, audiosplitter has already starting to gain traction, and change the way real fans connect both with each other, and the music they love.



April is World Autism Awareness Month, however, new figures by The National Autistic Society (NAS) reveal that although public awareness of autism is high, understanding is still low and we need to do more to help the one in 100 people who are on the autism spectrum in the UK. This is an estimated 700,000 people.

The common perception has been that autism affects more males than females, with studies placing the ratio anywhere between 2:1 and 16:1, male to female. However, NAS has revealed that that the number may be far more equal than we thought.

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As Autism Awareness Month comes to a close at the end of April, Autism Rocks has reached out to Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism to hear their views on what autism means to them and what needs to be done to improve public awareness.

Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, who has a son on the autistic spectrum, said that although attitudes to autism are changing “slowly”, the public perception is still largely “something akin to ‘Rain Main’ where everyone with autism has a secret genius ability”.

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Autism Rocks kick starts Autism Awareness Month

Autism Rocks has kick started Autism Awareness Month with its first fundraising event of the year- a jam packed family day with performances from international superstars Flo Rida and Tyga.

Autism Rocks, which raises funds and awareness for autism research, will stage show-stopping gigs throughout the year in London and Dubai. Previous concerts hosted by the charity have featured world-renowned artists such as Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Nile Rodgers, Drake, Michael Buble, Joss Stone and many others.

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Hello! – Issue 1448

Published by Hello! 19th September 2016
HELLO! is a weekly publication renowned for its celebrity photo-features and royal coverage. It aims to secure exclusive access to the social elite and capture special moments on camera.The publication has a mix of articles and interviews from around the world balanced by a series of regular practical features.HELLO! covers celebrity, gossip and society and includes regular fashion, beauty, health and cookery features. The magazine was launched in 1988, creating a brand new sub-sector of weekly publishing: The Celebrity Market.

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Daily Star Online

Published by Daily Star Online – 13th September 2016

Daily Star is a daily British tabloid newspaper. It was first published on 2 November 1978, and was the first new national paper to be launched since the The Daily Mirror in 1903. For many years it published Monday to Saturday but on 15 September 2002 it expanded to bring out a Sunday edition, the Daily Star Sunday. The paper predominately focuses on stories largely revolving around celebrities, sport, and news and gossip about popular television programmes, such as soap operas and reality TV shows.
Link: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/showbiz-tv/music/545331/Ricky-Martin-interview-Autism-Rocks


The Daily Express

Published by the Daily Express -13th September 2016

The Daily Express was founded in 1900 and is published by Northern & Shell. The Express is a tabloid publication which covers all sectors and is sold at a retail price of 55p Monday – Friday and 85p on Saturdays. The Daily Express is the sister publication of the Sunday Express, both publications are based at the Northern & Shell Building in London.

Link: http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/710182/Ricky-Martin-interview-Livin-La-Vida-Loca-One-World-Tour-Autism-Rocks-Shrek-2


Hype – Issue 137, 2016

Published by Hype 31st July 2016

Hype – Issue 137, 2016

Hype is the essential nightlife and music guide, available free, weekly, throughout the emirate.

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Published by Autism Rocks on 15 July 2016

LONDON, 15th July 2016 – Following the roaring success of Autism Rocks’ Tribute to Prince in London, the charity has announced a series of Autism Rocks Sessions in September and December.

The Autism Rocks Tribute to Prince, attracted more than 6.000 Prince fans who gathered together to honour his musical genius with electric performances by CeeLo Green, Morris Day and The Time, Mark Ronson and Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, raising £101,330 in donations.

To kick-start the upcoming Autism Rocks Sessions, Grammy winners Ricky Martin and Nile Rodgers have both been confirmed to perform at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on 23rd September and 23rd December respectively.

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Larry Graham joins lineup for Autism Rocks Prince tribute

Published by Charity Today on 30 May 2016

AMERICAN bass guitar player Larry Graham, has been confirmed as one of the acts in the lineup for the much anticipated Autism Rocks Prince tribute concert in London at the Hammersmith Apollo on June 24th and 25th. He will be joining CeeLo Green, Mark Ronson and Morris Day & The Time to honour Prince’s musical genius. The concerts will be part of Autism Rocks’ ongoing efforts to raise awareness and funds for autism research.

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Morris Day & The Time, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station et Mark Ronson au gala Autism Rocks

Published by Funk-U on 27 May 2016

En février 2015, Prince & 3rdEyeGirl avaient participé à l’édition 2015 du gala Autism Rocks, un concert caritatif dont les bénéfices sont reversés à la fondation britannique de l’Autism Research Trust. Autism Rocks – A Tribute to Prince Autism Rocks – A Tribute to Prince In June this year, the Eventim Apollo – Hammersmith will celebrate the life of the much-loved and sorely-missed, Prince, with not one, but two gigs.

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Autism Rocks, CeeLo Green, The Hunna

Published by Get to the Front on 23 May 2016

Autism Rocks, CeeLo Green, The Hunna ..

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Fri 24 June and Sat 25 June—Prince tribute at Hammersmith Apollo

Published by RaysGigs on 23 May 2016

Autism Rocks, the UK-based charity, is honoring Prince with a tribute show featuring CeeLo Green, Mark Ronson and Morris Day & The Time and Larry Graham on June 24th and 25th at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo in London. Just two years ago Prince performed as the headliner at the launch of the Autism Rocks charity in London. This special concert is part of Autism Rocks ongoing effort to raise awareness and funds for autism research, while commemorating the late musical legend who did so much for the Autism Rocks charity.

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Autism Rocks Presents A Tribute To Prince Featuring Ceelo Green + Mark Ronson (Dj Set) + Morris Day & The Time

Published by Star Green on 20 May 2016

Autism Rocks, the UK-based charity that brought Prince to London in 2014 and 2015 (including his last live performance in the UK) is honouring his musical genius by hosting a tribute show starring world-class acts CeeLo Green, Mark Ronson and Morris Day & The Time at the Hammersmith Apollo on June 24th and 25th The concert will be part of Autism Rocks’ ongoing efforts to raise awareness and funds for autism research.

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Mark Ronson and Cee Lo Green to perform at Prince tribute show

Published by Press Party on 20 May 2016

Mark Ronson and Cee Lo Green have been confirmed to appear at a two-night charity Prince tribute show in London. The acts will perform at London’s Eventim Apollo on June 24 and 25. The two-day event, which will pay tribute to the artist after his unexpected death last month, is also set to host Morris Day & The Time – a band put together by Prince himself back in the early ’80s. There’ll also be DJ sets by DJ BFG and DJ Fever.

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Share Autism Rocks – A Tribute to Prince to feature Cee-Lo Green, Mark Ronson and more

Published by All Gigs on 20 May 2016

Cee-Lo Green, Mark Ronson, Morris Day and the Time and more to play two special gigs at the Hammersmith Apollo in June 2016. Autism Rocks – A Tribute to Prince Autism Rocks – A Tribute to Prince In June this year, the Eventim Apollo – Hammersmith will celebrate the life of the much-loved and sorely-missed, Prince, with not one, but two gigs.

Read more

It can be hard to create an awareness of autism as people do not ‘look ‘ disabled;
Instead the children are often described as ‘naughty’ and the adults as ‘misunderstood’


Contact us on

General Enquiries:
E: Info@autism.rocks

Media Enquiries:
E: autismrocks@mediahouse.co.uk


Registered address:
20-22 Wenlock Road,
London, England N1 7GU 


Charity registered number: 1158121