Siena Castallon

Age: 16
From: London

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Siena Castallon BCyA with Ashley Banjo & Nicky Cox, Editor, First News

Siena is an exceptional young person who has overcome many obstacles to help others. She has autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and suffers from autism related anxiety. She has been severely bullied at school due to her autism. The abuse she suffered is the inspiration behind Siena’s determination to make children with autism and learning differences have more positive and fulfilling experiences at school. At 13, Siena designed and created a website to support and mentor children with autism and learning differences, QLmentoring.com. She created the website because she discovered that all the online support and resources were directed at the parents of the children with these conditions. There were no resources focused on supporting the children themselves.

Siena’s website provides academic, social and bullying advice tailored to children and young people with autism and learning disabilities. Siena has also written many articles on how to help children navigate their school experience, she has approximately 1,200 followers on twitter, and 5,000 subscribers to her website. Siena is open to discussing her autism and wants to raise awareness and acceptance of this. Students worldwide have contacted Siena asking for advice and support.

In September 2017 Siena assisted in running a two-day workshop at Imperial College, the first of its kind. One of the workshops was designed for secondary students with disabilities and another for autistic secondary students. Siena played a central role in designing, organising and running the workshop for autistic students. Siena is passionate and committed to helping people with autism have a happier and more fulfilled childhood.