Dungog author wins award for poetry book

PUBLISHED: Robin Taylor and his fiancee Simone Turner Ryan who did the artwork on his award-winning book. Picture: Michelle Mexon
PUBLISHED: Robin Taylor and his fiancee Simone Turner Ryan who did the artwork on his award-winning book. Picture: Michelle Mexon

A Dungog author hopes his first book can help parents better understand the behaviour of their children who have been diagnosed with autism.

Robin Taylor's "Whose Reflection is That" is a book of poetry inspired from his life experiences, with years of others misunderstanding his high functioning autism.

He was formally diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome around 10 years ago.

"My hope is that anyone who has, or has someone in their lives with autism, may be able to identify with what is written," he said.

"I haven't always been able to communicate verbally how I was feeling or what was going on with my life, especially when I was young.

"I was confused or frightened as to how people would react to my explanation of feelings."

Robin said he suffered bullying throughout his school years from both students and teachers which left a lasting mark.

"The struggle started when I was very young," he said.

"I have a fantastic mum and dad, mum is a retired director of nursing and all my life she has struggled to get things done (for me).

"Being autistic, I went home and didn't say a thing (about the bullying).

"It was too confusing and I now know, when you are under stress you don't always say what you mean."

His poem Desire to be Heard for example, is about how long he can take to give a response, especially when under pressure.

Robin joined the army reserves when he was 19 and joined the regular army soon after, with his passing our parade on his 21st birthday.

He was medically discharged from the army due to a back injury in his mid 20s and started writing around 2009 before getting "serious" in 2014.

He has received a book excellence award from Literacy Excellence Incorporated and Matchstick Literary is now publishing the work.

He hopes the book could become available in schools to help parents, teachers and other students better understand autism.

The book is available from Harry Hartog bookstores and the Dungog Arts Society for $12 and local markets.