Listen now 28 mins
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
6 dyscullia (math dyslexia)
7 lax ligaments
8 poor muscle tone
9 scared lung tissue
Produced by Sue Mitchell.