This guest post is by Khanh Nguyen, a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into American River College. Khanh is applying for the Spring 2021 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference started by me, Kerry Magro. I was nonverbal till 2.5 and diagnosed with autism at 4 and you can read more about my organization here.
I hope you can support my nonprofit like I’m trying to support these students with scholarship aid for college. Learn more on how you can help our cause with a small donation (just asking for $3 today, equal to your daily cup of coffee) here.
I was born in 2003 in Hanoi, Vietnam. I did not know anything about autism until 2 years ago when my mom decided to tell me all about my autism diagnosis. My mom said she did not want to scare me or make me feel different. She also said if she told me about autism when I was in Vietnam, I would tell my classmates or friends there, and they may bully me and she did not want that to happen to me.
My Mom said I did not speak until about 4-years-old. The doctors there in Vietnam knew nothing about autism, so my mom learned how to teach me to speak with flashcards. Gradually and slowly I spoke. And my mom said I can speak the whole sentence when I was about 5 years old.
I grew up going to elementary school like other kids. My Mom chose a small and new school, which she said she can approach for help easier from the teachers for me. I remember it was a good time in school.
When I went to middle school, my Mom said she tried to get me in a private school, which she hoped that I will be fine there. But in fact I was bullied a lot by classmates. They said I was a stupid boy. They took my glasses. They pulled down my pants. My mom was so sad.
I moved here to the US in 2017 with my Mom. I had about a few months of struggling in adapting to a new school. I used to have nap time in schools in Vietnam but we do not have that here. My English was not good too. My Mom had to write down some phrases for me, like “ my English is not good, can I use a dictionary” or “can you show me how to go to the library please”.
I like the schools here a lot too. My friends are so friendly and they do not bully me. They do not laugh at my English. My difficulties is English and sport. I do not know how to play jump rope, how to play volleyball or football. Arts and reading, history are also hard for me too. Instead, I am very good at math. I have been having all A grades for my junior and senior years at school.
My high school time has been good so far. I joined the running team, I ran cross country and track. I became so much faster and I am happy about that.
After graduating from high school, I will go American River College, then I want to transfer to Sacramento State University. I would like to graduate with an Accounting Degree. I would like to work for the state government in California. I hope that one day I can drive, I can work to buy my own little house and have a little family of my own.
My name is Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum that started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue a post-secondary education. Help support me so I can continue to help students with autism go to college by making a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit here.