Robyn was born at 28 weeks and has ten disabilities, including Asperger’s syndrome. At secondary school she felt overwhelmed and was bullied frequently. After being kicked out of school Robyn went to a college where she met other autistic young people, and they suggested training college staff on how to support them. After one session a tutor told Robyn: “You’re really good at this. This could be your career.”
Robyn began volunteering with the National Autistic Society to improve media awareness. For the past 14 years she’s worked as a mentor, consultant and trainer with people at all levels of the education system, in social work and parent groups. She runs workshops on topics like anxiety with neurotypical and autistic children and adults.
Robyn has a particular passion for championing the diversity within autism and she creates online surveys on topics like stimming and safety. Her first book, The Independent Woman’s Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum was based on survey results and Robyn’s experience of developing strategies for others. Her second book, The Autism Friendly Guide to Periods, comes out next year.
Robyn says: “I thought I was thick until I wrote my first book. I learned I just do things differently so I have deliberately focused on building skills that can earn me money and to get unique results so people will want to use my skills, and I’ll have maximum flexibility in how I use my time.”
Robyn is a visiting research associate at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education, and was joint awardee of the 2015 NAS Professional Awards for Outstanding Achievement by an Autistic Individual for her work on rape and sexual abuse against autistic people.
Robyn is also a trumpet player, and has spoken on a panel at South by Southwest festival and conference.
Find out more about Robyn here: https://www.robynsteward.com/