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Our Mission

A Team’s mission is to produce and promote authentic conversations between people who share insight and inspiration about the shared autistic experience.


Our Story

A Team was created by Robert Smythe and Rafael Mantesso, two autistic artists having fun talking about being neuro-atypical. Only when they were well into adulthood did Mantesso and Smythe learn they are autistic; Mantesso was in his 30s and Smythe in his 50s.


Their diagnoses explained a lot, but it wasn't until they met that each finally had the experience of talking to someone who thought just like them. Their freewheeling conversations have helped other people, autistics and neurotypicals alike, understand more about seeing and thinking about the world differently.


A Team is currently listened to by thousands of people in over 50 countries. 

Our Story
Our bios

Robert Smythe


Robert Smythe is a playwright, director, and actor. He’s won prestigious fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and seven Barrymore Awards, as well as six Solo Performer Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Rafael Montesso


Rafael Mantesso is an antisocial and introspective mixed media artist, whose dog, JIMMY, is his best friend, his love, alter ego, source of inspiration and his way into expressing himself in the world. Rafael is also a best-selling author, a multi award winning creative director and speaker.

The Founders

Meet The Team


Bobby Knepper

Bobby Knepper is in his later 20s and works full-time in Nashville, TN as a music producer. He grew up knowing he was neurodivergent but didn't have the courage to explore this identity until adulthood (you can hear more in episode 13). Bobby helps the A Team primarily through his audio skills, editing the remote recordings to sound the best they can. Bobby identifies as autistic and connects deeply with other autistic individuals. He has two cats, and is obsessed with chess, food, Zelda, and the Beatles.


Julie DeFeo

Julie DeFeo is a 60-something self-described neurodivergent outsider artist & creative marketing specialist. Her non-conformist life has been an interesting cross-section of creativity & activism that ranges from paralegal advocacy & rape crisis counselor to marketing for galleries, artists, & non-profits.  Her creative endeavors include theater productions, jewelry design, blown glass art, sculpture, mixed media, fiber arts, and creativity coaching.  Julie handles the behind-the-scenes support for all things A Team.  She is passionate about social justice, creativity, film, true crime, solitude, food & wine. She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her artist/chef husband and musically talented son plus one cat.


Michael Cantwell

Michael Cantwell.
Born in the late seventies in a European back water before Autism had made it's way into the DSM.  Eventually made his way to Canada, where through the magic of a good health system that values mental health (somewhat).  He discovered what he had always know he was not a typical person, he was really a member of the A Team.   Late diagnosis has helped him with the relationships that mean so much to him, creating a better home life for him and his beautiful wife and child.  He is now interested in finding out about many different aspects of the autism experience and hopefully connecting with others along the way.

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