Best known for:
Multiple award-winning Vikie Shanks is an author and expert on Autism and communication as well as an inspiring, motivational and hilarious lady. Vikie has seven children, six of whom have autism, one has dyslexia and the youngest two also have cerebral
No ordinary speaker, Vikie tells her story and experiences from the heart. From living with Autism and mental health issues, and the horrific suicide of her husband, Vikie has been there and lived through it all. Despite all that life has thrown at her, Vikie continues to bounce back. Despite all that life has thrown at her, Vikie continues to bounce back… In fact her inspiring journey has lead her to become an author, an expert in the field of Autism and a motivational speaker. If you need an engaging, inspiring and truly awe-inspiring person to speak on anything from Autism to communication or to tell her shocking but motivational story then you’ve just found her.
Vikie Shanks was born in South Yemen, where her father was stationed in the RAF. From the age of five she lived near Cambridge. At the age of seventeen she left home and moved to London to start work as a trainee buyer in Harrods but left after a year and became a croupier. After two years working in London and a further year in Spain she became a full time model in the UK. Vikie met Paul and they lived together for 23 years.
When Paul died by suicide, it left her and her vulnerable family in a huge amount of debt and in the worst position imaginable. But she fought on. She used every ounce of gut and determination within her to make the lives of her children the best they could be.
Through everything that Vikie has experienced, she’s continued to fight for her children with Autism and helped people to understand why communication is so important in life and in business. She has shown that the most trying of circumstances can be used as a positive force, specifically in promoting awareness of autism and mental health issues.
Vikie speaks on the value of transparent communication, a lesson vital both in life and in business. She talks about her life and her experiences of having children with autism at a recent TEDx Talk and has published a book Unravelled: The Inspirational True Story of a Journey Out of Darkness.
Vikie has made numerous TV and radio appearances, and has won many awards including Carer of the Year for her Autism One on One support group. She was named Best
Magazine’s Bravest Woman at a star-studded awards ceremony in London and has also appeared on ITV’s This Morning and Loose Women.
In October 2017, Netflix aired the exclusive documentary, Kingdom of Us, about Vikie and her children’s lives. The film was BIFA-nominated and is now BAFTA-nominated and has led to increased awareness about mental health conditions and has given hope to countless people.
Suggested talk topics:
Vikie’s presentations are insightful and offer many thought-provoking messages.
- Vikie’s life story
- Overcoming adversity and positive thinking
- Autism and related conditions
- Mental health and suicide
- Single parenting
Theresa Bishop, Professional Manager for Health Visitor Services
Sue Jones, Professional Manager of Children’s Therapy Services and Speech and Language Therapy, South Warwickshire NHS Trust