Meet Sarah Robin K.

An autistic adult’s lifelong commitment to mental health and self-discovery

Sarah Robin K., 23

Being fearless and strong means seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel and making your way through. 
Sarah Robin smiling for a selfie in front of a brick wall

My name is Sarah Robin, and I was diagnosed with autism when I was five years old. Today, as a 23-year-old young woman with autism, I have a much better understanding of myself and my mental health because of my willingness to look inward and be transparent about my lifelong journey. 

 My life has led me to a path of self-discovery with serious bouts with my mental health. Through the years I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, mood disorder, hallucinations and even self-harm. Although it’s been a challenging road, I devoted myself to get the help I need at residentials and psychiatric units, and feel I’ve become a much stronger person because of my willingness to seek help.  

 One of the ways I’ve learned to express myself is through my writing. My first online book is titled, “Sarah’s Missing Puzzle Piece.” I felt the need to write about my autism and struggles with mental health because I want people with autism to know that regardless of what you’re going through at the time, we are all wonderful in our own way and we can make the world a better place by sharing our gifts. My writing has been a big part of my recovery, and it means a lot to have the opportunity to share my unfiltered story with Autism Speaks.  

 Today, I’m working at Giant Food Company as a part-time bakery associate, and I go to a mental health outreach programs every day during the week to work on myself.  live in an independent apartment program and I spend my time with my friends and family. I’m super proud of how far I’ve come!

Learn more about Sarah’s journey in this Q&A:  

What are some of your biggest challenges? 

My biggest challenges were being okay with how people viewed me and figuring out how to fit in around people who aren’t autistic or don’t have experience interacting with autistic people.  

A girl with brown hair holding a diploma and wearing a red graduation cap and gown

What are some of your biggest strengths? 

One of my biggest strengths has actually come from my biggest challenge. I have worked hard on my social skills to interact with others while still being true to myself. I also think I’m very good at making important life choices and knowing what’s best for myself.  

What type of services and supports have you received since being diagnosed? 

I have received emotional support, behavioral therapy, certified peer specialist, med management and blended case management. 

What does being a fearless, strong, autistic woman mean to you? 

Even though I went through my own battles, and I fought some personal demons, I became a better, stronger person in the end because of it. Being fearless and strong means seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel and making your way through.  

A woman smiling and laying across a picnic table in a park

During May, Mental Health Awareness Month, what message would you like to send to other autistic adults out there who may be struggling with their mental health? 

I would say take one day of recovery at a time and don't rush it. Even though there are obstacles you will get through it if you commit yourself. 

Why is it important to you to advocate for mental health awareness in the autism community? 

We all struggle with something at points in our lives. Everyone deals with various challenges and struggles, so I want to help others with their struggles and give them the best support I can by sharing my personal experiences. 

What are you most proud of? 

Sarah Robin and friends at a baseball game

I am proud of the progress I’ve made through the years and my family for supporting me along the way. I’m also proud that I was able to graduate high school with honors, have a job, live independently and have an amazing family and a great group of friends.  

How has Autism Speaks positively impacted your life since being diagnosed?  

Autism Speaks was there to provide me with personal advice and helpful resources through the years, especially when learning about my diagnosis and trying to get a better understanding about what it meant to be autistic. I’ve also gotten involved in some of the community events. For instance, I went to their autism awareness day at Citizens bank park to watch the Phillies in April. It was an amazing time. 

The story shared above represents the experience, views and perspectives of the individual(s) highlighted. We aim to share stories across the spectrum and throughout the life span, but the information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals.