A Lived Experience – Robyn StewarD Shares The Importance of Challenging Autistic Children

To Improve Critical Thinking and Problem Solving


Podcast Photo of Sue Larkey with microphone


Join me for an upcoming Workshop:

Sue Larkey Workshops

Can't make these Workshop dates? Join me for a self-paced on-demand course:

Sue Larkey On-Demand Workshops


This week I have interviewed Robyn Steward, an autistic author, who has written one of my favourite puberty books ever “The Autism Friendly Guide to Periods”.


Discussed in this Episode:

Ways to Support Critical Thinking

The steps Robyn took to challenge herself: riding an e-bike to visit her parents in the countryside

Why she sometimes repeats questions and what you can do to support

Why learning to ask questions is an important skill

How Robyn has found friends who support her taking on new challenges i.e. going to America

Learn How to Improve Your Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Today!

Robyn’s 6 Key Pieces of Advice on How to Improve Your Critical Thinking 

1. Taking risks is vital

2. Develop a wide network of people your child can seek advice from (including people you might not agree with) 

3. Support the development of decision making skills

4. You always need to be challenging yourself and practising flexible thinking regardless of whether you are on the spectrum or not 

5. A reminder to seek out support from others and that your emotions are valid  

6. Being supported DOES NOT mean you are failing!

Sue’s Top Resources for Teens and Adults:

Product Quantity

The Essential Guide to Secondary School

| by Sue Larkey & Anna Tullemans | Revised and expanded in 2016. A practical guide to secondary school. Ideas for
all staff, from curriculum engagement, accommodations, group work, homework, using technology, behaviour support, organisational skills to building independence. Includes proformas to photocopy and save you time. This book has over 100 pages of proven ideas and strategies. MASSIVE TIME SAVER for busy Teachers & Parents

time saver clock

A Manual To Provide Support and Care for Adults with Autism Spectrum

This is a guide to help support workers to individualise support for each participant in order to help them gain independence, self-reliance and community inclusion.

What's in it for me?

  • Over 80 pages
  • Over 500 Tips & Strategies to provide guidance for adaptations, modifications and understanding to meet the goals of participants
  • Build your expertise to encourage participants to make decisions, find their strengths and use them as building blocks to develop skills


The Aspie Teen's Survival Guide

| by J.D. Kraus | The teenage years are a time when being social is the #1 priority for kids. But for kids with Asperger's, who have acute social challenges, these years can be the most difficult, confusing time in their lives. Enter J. D. Kraus, a young man who has been there, done that! He offers practical advice to his peers so they can get the most out of middle school and high school, both academically and socially.

Helping Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Express Their Thoughts and Knowledge in Writing

| by Elise Geither and Lisa Meeks | This is a practical guide to teaching and improving writing skills in students with ASD to meet academic writing standards and prepare for the increased expectations of higher education. The book covers key considerations for all educators teaching writing skills to high school and college students with ASD including how to address difficulties with comprehension, executive functioning, and motor skills, how to structure ideas into a coherent argument, and how to develop creativity and expression in writing, as well as how to successfully adapt these skills to meet university expectations. Each chapter includes teaching tips, insightful student perspectives, and ready-to-use writing exercises.

The Wonderful World of Work

| by Jeanette Purkis | This hands-on workbook demystifies the world of work in order to help teenagers with ASD feel confident in their ability to be successful at their studies and get a job. Each chapter talks the teen through a different element of employment, including the benefits of having a job, why education is important, how to write a resume and succeed at job interviews, and the advantages and disadvantages of autism in the workplace. A variety of different industries and jobs are explored to encourage teens to begin to think about careers that might appeal to them and suit their skills and interests.

The Loving Push

Dr Temple Grandin joins psychologist and autism specialist Dr Debra Moore in spelling out what steps you can take to restore your child’s hope and motivation, and what you must avoid. Eight life stories told by people on the autism spectrum, including chapters on subjects like how to get kids off their computers, how to build on their strengths and get back to caring about their lives, and how to find a path to a successful, meaningful life make this a must read resource! An essential resource to prepare our youth for being successful adults in today’s world.

Preparing for Life: The Complete Guide for Transitioning to Adulthood for those with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

| by Jed Baker  - Easy to follow resource provides a complete toolbox of social skills and the means to attain them so that students may approach their futures with excitement rather than anxiety. Tackles a wide variety of issues across the spectrum, such as perspective-taking, nonverbal communication skills, conversational skills, and stress management.

Turning Skills and Strengths into Careers for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

This practical college curriculum helps students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to begin to make the transition to the next stage of life – their career. With detailed personality and skills profiling, job-hunting strategies, and interview preparation, it is an ideal textbook for ASD college programs or for student self-study.

In stock

Recommended Podcasts:

Episode 74: Yenn Purkis Discusses ‘The Wonderful World of Work’

In my interview with Yenn we discuss:
✅ How to support young people to find employment

✅ Thriving (not just surviving) in the workplace
✅ Whether to disclose a diagnosis when applying for a job

✅ Autism acceptance and focusing on strengths

Episode 75: Dean Beadle Discusses Autistic Identity and What It Means for Him

Today I will be interviewing Dean Beadle! Dean has toured the UK and the world for fifteen years as an autistic speaker and trainer.

Dean is also a proud promoter of the autistic voice, encouraging and empowering other autistic people to share their experiences and insights too. I am a huge fan of Dean’s work and have toured with him in the past. He is a great friend and inspirational speaker and I’m sure you will all enjoy listening to Dean’s personal experience and insight as much as I did!

In this episode Dean meantions the Department of Autistic Research and Technology (DART) who are affiliated with Edinburgh University and have large amount of research on autism and people with autism. Dean mentions a small part of their research in this episode and I found it absolutely fascinating so have linked the group here in case any of you would also like to find out more about it!

Episode 81: How Embracing Autistic Strengths Changed His Life: An Interview with Chris Bonnello

Today I will be interviewing Chris Bonnello! Chris is an autistic former primary school teacher and author of the popular website Autistic Not Weird. 

When Chris was ten an educational pscyhologist came to assess him. It was 1995 so the professional psychologist wrote down “slightly odd personality” on his form and that’s where it ended.

Growing up on the spectrum can be difficult. Chris discusses this in the podcast and also how to uses his autistic strengths to change his life.