Robyn Young is a University student at St Thomas University pursuing her Bachelor of Arts. She intends to eventually be either a social worker or a speech language pathologist, where she will have the opportunity to do what she is so talented at doing: helping other people. Already having helped other teenagers with Auditory Processing Disorder by co-founding a Facebook teenage support group, writing a blog of her experiences being a young woman with APD, as well as being a personal mentor to some preteens with APD, Robyn has shared her heart and experience with many others, fostering courage and self-esteem.
“Lindsey Simpson and I met on one of the APD groups a little over a year ago now. After talking to each other for about a month and being so grateful to have one another for support - having someone to talk to who understands and has no judgments - we wanted to open that experience to other teens with APD so they could meet and make supportive, understanding friends.”
Robyn inspires people by her support and her positive attitude. Feeling her biggest accomplishment to date is having graduated from high school and getting accepted into every university she applied to, she has worked hard academically. Even though she had to study long hours and suffered teasing from fellow students along the way, she never gave up and succeeded in passing her very challenging 12th grade final examinations standardized by the Newfoundland government.
Another major accomplishment for Robyn has been overcoming her fear of public speaking. Looking back over her life, she always felt uncomfortable speaking in front of other people, but could get up and sing beautifully. In 11th grade, she decided to put herself out there and got involved in the drama club and public speaking. She practiced reading aloud her speech for many, many hours and was able to conquer her stuttering and her fear; she did so well she managed to win first place at a club level competition! Now she feels that skill will help her throughout her life.
“I am so glad that I now have those skills to be a leader because I think that will take me a long way in the ‘real world’ and it has done wonders for my self-esteem and social skills.”
Robyn has become a support for many others, but who were her supporters?
“First and foremost would be my mom. It is because of her strong willed personality and determination with everything she does, that I am the determined woman I am today. She has helped me to remain confident.”
Besides her mother, Robyn was also very fortunate to have a high school guidance counselor who didn’t know much about auditory processing disorder in the beginning, but learned along the way and became an advocate for Robyn and her journey. This counselor is still available and helpful to Robyn even though she is no longer a student at the high school.
Finally, one teacher can make a huge difference in a child’s life. Robyn had one such teacher in her 9th grade English teacher. He was kind, patient, and believed in Robyn even though she struggled with language, both written and oral. He took the time to work with her and helped her develop her skills. As evidenced by her wonderful blog posts at Auditory Processing Disorder: Breaking the Silence of this Silent Disorder, her writing is well written and powerfully motivating.
When asked what bit of advice she would give to children with auditory processing disorder, she thoughtfully replied:
“If I could give the younger generation of APDers any advice, it would be to believe in themselves no matter what life throws your way. That may seem pretty generic and typical, but when you have APD, that advice can go a long way. There will be so many days when you feel like you’re nothing and can’t possibly go anywhere, however that is not true! Just always remember to never be afraid to ask for help, never give up, and believe that you can do it!”