Monday 8 February 2021

The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide Book Review

When I heard the news that Siena Castellon was writing a book called The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide, I instantly knew it was going to be amazing. As per the words on the book cover, it's a guide for 'how to grow up awesome and autistic' and it is dedicated to 'all the awesome autistic girls around the world who dance to a different beat'. 
Book cover for The spectrum girls survival guide - blue cover with black shadow of a girl with a banner

Siena is a young autistic woman who is diagnosed with Asperger’s, dyslexia, dyspraxia and AD(H)D as well as anxiety, hypermobility, synesthesia and a sensory processing disorder. She is passionate about helping others and is an advocate for autism acceptance and neurodiversity in schools and in the work place. At the age of just 13 she created a mentoring service and corresponding website ( to support children with learning differences. She's also the force behind Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 15-21st in 2021).

In her own words, Siena writes that she 'had lots of negative experiences because of my learning differences, including being bullied at school for most of my childhood. Along the way, I have learned how to succeed despite the obstacles I have faced.' This is exactly the kind of positivity which could help many young, autistic teenagers and Siena should be loudly applauded for it.

The book contains a huge amount of content in 16 chapters, covering a variety of very important topics. It begins with a look at the 'invisible autistic girl', followed by an inspiring chapter about 'embracing who you are'. Everyday issues are then delved into, including sensory sensitivities, self-care and hygiene, mental health, socialising, dating, gender identity and social media. Puberty is discussed, along with friendships, fashion, make-up and relationships. There are also comprehensive chapters with wise words concerning school, bullying and co-occurring conditions.

There are plenty of 'tip' boxes offering advice sprinkled throughout the chapters, and I also loved the comic illustrations created by the very talented Rebecca Burgess.
Page from inside the spectrum girls survival guide book, showing a cartoon illustration
This is the kind of book which would be great for many young girls, autistic or not. Drawing on her own experiences, Siena shares lots of factual information and gives advice on how to navigate through life as a teenager. The book is also a great resource for parents or educators of autistic children, giving great insight into what goes on and how we can help.

I definitely recommend purchasing this book - it can be found on Amazon here: The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide*.

For reading specific to the PDA profile of autism, please see my post Books about the Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) profile of autism.

*This post contains an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission if you visit a link and buy something. It won't cost you any extra*

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking for more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds brilliant and what an inspiring story behind it. we are definitely noticing the differences with Miss T as she's growing older.


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