Growing up disabled: Puberty, privacy & positivity with Siena Castellon and George Fielding

Around one in five people in Britain live with a disability. That's really quite a lot of people, all who have the same jumble of flaws, strengths, fears, desires and talents as the rest of the population.

But most conversations people have about disability seem to focus on suffering, loss and 'otherness'. As a society, we like to hang our desire to be 'inspired' on one section of the disability community, while accepting the pernicious rhetoric of government and the media that the rest are most likely "benefit scroungers". As a young disabled person, how can develop pride in who you are and what you have to offer if society struggles to see you as just as human as the rest of society?

Puberty isn't remembered fondly by many. It's awkward, often embarrassing and you have questions you're unlikely to want to ask your parents about. Disabled teenagers can often be conveniently "infantilised" and those questions go unanswered. But of course, they need the same information and respect as anyone else. So how do young people with disabilities begin to navigate their way through to adulthood when society is so reluctant to acknowledge that disabled children go through puberty too?

Exploring growing up with Siena and George

We wanted to demystify the topic and asked for help from two of the most well-respected, accomplished young disabled activists we know, Siena Castellon who is autistic, and George Fielding who has cerebral palsy. Listen as they explain their experiences of growing up, changing relationships with parents, and what was important to them as they became young adults.

Our columnist, Siena, founded Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Bullied out of her prestigious state school by teachers, Siena is now a student at acclaimed US university, Stanford. She's also a UN Young Leader, author and activist, and wise beyond her years.

George Fielding, was awarded a British Empire Medal for his services to young disabled people and their families at the tender age of 19. He has a sharp mind, a philosophical outlook and is a prolific fundraiser and activist for social change.

YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Amazon Music | Anchor

Growing up disabled - the video

Listen to the podcast

Also listen:

Find all the SNJ in Conversation episodes here

Join the SNJ “Patron” Squad & get exclusive content!


Become a Patron!


- The SNJ Patrons' EXCLUSIVE May SEND update Newsletter is OUT NOW! If you're a patron and you haven't received it check your spam. No joy? Get in touch.


Don’t miss a thing!

Sign up for SNJ new post alerts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Are you signed up to SNJ new post alerts but aren’t seeing them in your inbox? There may be a couple of reasons for this. Check out why and how to fix it here

Renata Blower
Follow me

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.