This guest post is by Kenneth Brown, II, a young man on the autism spectrum who has been accepted and is attending Morehouse College studying music performance with the hopes of becoming a professional musician. Kenneth is applying for the Spring 2019 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference. You can read more about the organization and how to apply for our scholarship here. You can help our scholarship program continue to help these students by making a donation to our scholarship fund here (the majority of our scholarship program is ran through donors from our community such as yourself so no matter if you could donate anything, whether it be $5 anywhere up to $5,000 it would be making a difference!).

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for being my parents and loving me with all of your heart. Remember, it was at the age of two when I was diagnosed as Autistic. Your tears were met with my own tears of frustration, not knowing what to do to make you smile and be happy. Yet, you treated me with patience, and never scolding or comparing me to others. When I would point to an object, or to a food, you instantly knew just what I wanted as you would say the word of the item or object before lovingly giving it to me. I would say “thanks” with a big smile, hug or a kiss. Thanks for your kisses, a pat on the head and a lap to sit on when I was unhappy. This made us all happy, for a time.

Thank you for arranging the play groups with others about my age. We would all play together in harmony for a long time; riding a push bike, building block structures, racing or wrestling with each other and playing with other toys. When my friends would babble/talk among themselves, I just couldn’t seem to find the words to fit in. Many times I would cry or withdraw as I couldn’t interact with them as they played with each other. Thanks for your lap that I would sit on feeling safe and comforted as I watched them play.

I’m so glad that you had my baby brother, Kaleb, when I was 4 years of age. I was very protective of him, yet jealous of him and literally learned to talk as he did so. I would repeat the sounds he made, and to speak the single words as he did. Later I would repeat his simple sentences. My village of other relatives and family friends would patiently introduce me to various objects, such as the “stop light”, let’s slide”, we’re going swimming,” while verbalizing the object or activity. This was fun! Oftentimes I was denied my wishes because I wouldn’t speak the words identifying what I wanted. This made me mad!

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being pro-active and exposing me to activities where I could participate fully. For instance, I was enrolled in pre-music classes in Santa Monica. It was there that I could dance, point to musical signs, listen to and move to music pieces, to play percussion instruments, or act out storybook characters without having to talk to anyone. I was especially intrigued with the “real” instruments that were introduced to us. I loved the class! Because you were happy that I interacted so well, I was happy too. I especially loved the sound of classical music, of jazz and the trumpet. Even then knew that one day I would get to play the trumpet.

I’m so lucky to have you for parents. Thanks for loving me with all of your heart ALL of the time. Of all the parents in the world, you are the best! You showed your love to me by pushing me to explore and interact in the world, and giving me memories that will last a lifetime. Thank You.

Follow Kerry’s journey on Facebook, his Facebook Fan Page, & Instagram!

Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue a post-secondary education. Help us continue to help students with autism go to college by making a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit here.

Also, consider having Kerry, one of the only professionally accredited speakers on the spectrum in the country, speak at your next event by sending him an inquiry here. If you have a referral for someone who many want him to speak please reach out as well! Kerry speaks with schools, businesses, government agencies, colleges, nonprofit organizations, parent groups and other special events on topics ranging from employment, how to succeed in college with a learning disability, internal communication, living with autism, bullying prevention, social media best practices, innovation, presentation best practices and much more!

We’d also appreciate if you could take a minute to create a Facebook Fundraiser to support our nonprofit’s scholarship fund! You can learn more about how you can do just that here.