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robyn steward

michaelz's picture

robyn steward

Wed 23 Mar 2011 2:05pm

...My Name is Robyn Steward and I am an adult with Asperger’s syndrome. I am a specialist trainer and mentor. I provide training to anyone who comes into contact with people with Asperger’s. My belief is to learn from a person not just a text book.

Because I have Asperger’s I feel that not only does my training provide the theory but also the insight...

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  • michaelz's picture

    robyn discusses theory of mind - in the philosopher's arms - bbc radio 4.

     about 20 minutes into the programme.

    robot daughter

  • damo73's picture

    Hello Micheal,

    Thanks for posting this - I've actually met Robyn, as we are both involved in a project with 'AutreachIT' looking into the use of iPads.  I think she makes a clear point regarding theory of mind - and how it is not 'intuitive' for her and she has to do this 'cognitively'.  The word I would use is probably 'intellectualise' - one has to figure things out through logical deduction and amasing evidence.  Sometimes this can I think gain some great insights into understanding others, but can be a slow process that is not much use when trying to hold a conversation - especially if the other person is communicating in a 'non-autistic' way - e.g. lots of assumed understandings, metaphors, obscured meanings, not leaving gaps to reflect before response, and so on.  Due to this I tend to have less of a problem when conversing with autistic people - thus going back to my formulation of a 'double-empathy' problem (of two people failing to understand one anothers frames of reference, or communication needs).

    I guess that in conversing online in a forum such as this, there is a more 'democratic space' to reduce the barriers of the 'double-empathy' problem (where certain communication needs are more catered for - such as time to reflect and respond).  One can only hope that eventually those who are outside of the 'conversation' but are implicated in it (from practitioners to policy makers) - join it...mmm...not a bad sales pitch!

    Damian - Community Champion

    Damian - Retired Community Champion
  • michaelz's picture

    audio at link :

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time theatre production has opened, based on the book by Mark Haddon.

    It tells the story of a boy who appears to have Asperger's syndrome.

    Author Robyn Steward, who has Asperger's, and Prof Simon Baron Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, discuss whether it is books and plays that will change our perception of the condition and make us more accepting of it.

  • michaelz's picture

    Knowing Me, Knowing Autism

    28 minutes
    First broadcast:Monday 06 May 2013

    This programme follows Robyn through her personal and professional life; juggling the demands of her own condition with her obligations to others; giving insight into autism through the people who experience it first hand. Her professional life is highly organised (courtesy of her iphone); her personal life extremely messy. But she paints with her fingers, writes lyrics, listens to music and goes to the gym; often using the routine and the ritual of these activities to manage her condition

    As Robyn says: "Autism is a spectrum of conditions, everyone is different. I don't know what it would be like not to be Autistic. I suppose if I had to create a short explanation I'd say Autism is like an all-encompassing wall. People like Rain man (who had classic autism) are enclosed by a brick wall, people with Asperger's are behind a frosted glass wall often able to see out but not reach the rest of the world, you can have a wall of any thickness in between and it's not always obvious what they are made of. But others can remove bricks by finding shared interests like IT, Thomas the tank engine and football".

    Robyn is a professional one to one mentor to young people with Autism. She helps them with the difficulties of daily life, talking to them about money and public transport, discussing their coping strategies, and dealing with the people they come into contact with who may not understand their needs. People with autism can sometimes have problems with executive functioning tasks (planning, creating new ideas, ordering tasks) focus on detail rather than the bigger picture (known as weak central coherence), have problems with anxiety. So Robyn's job also involves helping groups like the police, social workers and paediatricians to understand these behaviours.

    Her Aspergers is just one of ten disabilities she possesses. She lists the other nine (pointing out that lists are something she's good at):

    1 left sided hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy)
    2 hemnipoia ( no peripheral vision)
    3 prosapragnosia ( I don't recognize faces i recognize people by their shoes
    4 dyspraxia
    5 dyslexia
    6 dyscullia (math dyslexia)
    7 lax ligaments
    8 poor muscle tone
    9 scared lung tissue


  • michaelz's picture

    Radio review: It's My Story: Knowing Me, Know Autism

    star number 1star number 2star number 3star number 4star number 5
    Saturday 11 May 2013

  • michaelz's picture

    Robyn's story

    "I'm Robyn and I am a consultant. I get to travel the world teaching people about autism and Asperger's syndrome. I am also a musician and I play the trumpet in a big band in Angel.

    "One of the disabilities I have is Asperger's syndrome, which is autism without a learning disability. I have cerebral palsy in my left side. It is quite hard to see but sometimes I walk with a limp and get fatigued very easily. And I have a visual impairment so travelling is quite tricky!

    "Before I lived in London I lived in quite a rural area in Suffolk. It was quite isolating. I couldn't get out and do things for myself. When I was 21, I moved to London and it completely changed my life. I have lived in other cities in the UK but London is the first place I lived that I felt less disabled.

    "The transport network is really important to me. My Freedom Pass has made a big difference. I live in Clapham Junction which is perfect as there are so many options including the 87 bus, which is my favourite bus. I get a great view of Big Ben from the top deck!"

    Find out more about applying for a freedom pass

    Listen to Robyn's story

  • michaelz's picture

    robyn steward loves led zeppelin - true!!

    info revealed during `the why factor` - bbc world service.

    Why high levels of noise affects all of us...


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