Unstoppable young model advocates for autism

Internationally-published model: Kiana Murphy has never let her autism diagnosis stop her from following her passions. Photo: Supplied.

Internationally-published model: Kiana Murphy has never let her autism diagnosis stop her from following her passions. Photo: Supplied.

"I've been modelling for about seven years," said Kiana Murphy, who was only nine when she first got into photo shoots.

"Mum found out about modelling classes and asked myself and my twin sister if we wanted to do it.

"I was never good at sport so it was great to find an activity I enjoyed and where I could make friends."

Achieved more than most: Kiana hopes she can inspire others to follow their passions. Photo: Supplied.

Achieved more than most: Kiana hopes she can inspire others to follow their passions. Photo: Supplied.

Now 16 and still a talented model, Kiana, from Mandurah on Western Australia's southwest coast, hasn't let her autism diagnosis, hole in her heart, hydrocephalus, and being deaf in one ear stop her from achieving her goals.

"You never have one disability you have to be diagnosed with 20 of them," Kiana jokingly said.

Kiana has achieved more than most during her short modelling career, already featuring in 15 internationally-published magazines and designing and modelling clothes for Wearable Arts.

"I feel confident when I do shoots in a costume like a princess dress or a steam punk outfit," Kiana said.

"I lean towards cosplay because I enjoy those shoots more than the rest."

Kiana has featured in 15 internationally-published magazines. Photo: Supplied.

Kiana has featured in 15 internationally-published magazines. Photo: Supplied.

As a model with autism, Kiana said certain modelling shoots were difficult to get through.

"There was this one modelling shoot we did where I had face paint on and it was horrendous. I hated it," she said.

"The face paint felt horrible on my skin. I don't like looking at the photos because it reminds me how horrible I felt.

"Sometimes I also notice my eye has just completely shut down in the middle of a shoot because I'm distracted. It happens when I'm hungry and tired also.

"My eyes ruin many photos as it's very visible when I'm not comfortable."

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Modelling shoots is not the first time Kiana has dealt with a difficult situation as she said primary school was a challenging time for her.

"I was always told off by teachers in primary school for not giving eye contact or saying things I couldn't help," she said.

"I got many suspensions and was threatened with expulsion three times because of my way of dealing with emotions.

"They didn't understand because I wasn't diagnosed with autism until I was Year 5."

Now in Year 11 and thriving, Kiana said she was excited to keep modelling and study a Bachelor of Arts at university.

"I'm doing a certificate course at school at the moment and one of my favourite parts of the subject is that we have to do some ushering, backstage, sound and lighting elements," she said.

"I still don't exactly know what I want to do when I get to university but I'm thinking of doing film making."

To find out more about Kiana's modelling visit her Instagram, kianalee.official

This story Unstoppable young model advocates for autism first appeared on Mandurah Mail.