SNJ In Conversation: Awesome and Autistic in a post-pandemic world

with Renata Blower and Siena Castellon

Autistic and Awesome

Today we're bringing you another episode of SNJ In Conversation and again you can listen or watch to it below or find it on your favourite Podcast channel here (find your preferred podcast player icon below the image, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify among others). You can also click through to YouTube.

Today we're talking tips for being awesome and autistic - and it's a fascinating listen when you consider that our guest, Siena Castellon, is still only 17 years old. She has some incredible tips that not only teenage autistic girls (and boys) would find useful, but that many neurodivergent adults will too, so do give it a listen/watch

Sally Phillips, Siena and Tania
Siena (centre) with Tania and actress Sally Phillips (left) at last year's Shine a Light SLCN Awards, whew Siena won Young Person of the Year

Cancelled A-Levels and planning for a new post-pandemic world

Siena is the young founder of Neurodiversity Celebration Week. She's been spending lockdown safe at home with her parents and her younger sister. But it hasn't been easy - Siena is in Year 13 and has had her A-Levels cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It's made her radically rethink her future plans, that she had thought to be well-planned.

As well as schoolwork, Siena's been keeping busy, sending out copies of her book, The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic. It's really a brilliant book and Siena has many insights to offer for everyone, autistic or not, female or not.

She may only be 17, but our conversation taught Renata and me a few things we hadn't previously considered. I can't recommend it enough. I listen to podcasts and videos myself when I'm getting ready in the mornings; they can really get your brain off to a good start for the day.

Siena talks to us about life in lockdown and how the pandemic has given her pause to consider whether university really is the place for her in September. You can read Siena's columns for SNJ here.

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Tania Tirraoro

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