This guest post is by Kevin Troy, a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into Adelphi University. Kevin 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 diagnosed with autism at 18 months old, and it always taught me how to overcome my challenges. Having autism means sometimes things that are easier for people without autism are very hard for me. On the other hand, sometimes things that are hard for people without autism are easier for me. Understanding sarcasm and body language is hard for me, but following rules is easy. I learned to do this through a lot of therapy. When I was in elementary school, my therapies consisted of OT, Speech, ABA, PT, Vision Therapy, Social Skills Therapy, Horseback riding therapy, and Tomatis (music therapy). These therapies worked on different skills and taught me how to be independent and communicate with others. I also had my parents and family members teach me life lessons. One very important life lesson I learned was that you should always tell the truth, even if you did something wrong. I learned this when my mom told me that lying is worse than doing the wrong thing. Sometimes, I still feel like lying because I am nervous about the outcome. However, I now realize that lying is really the worst thing to do and I try to always be honest.
I started school in a special class. I repeated the first grade so I could still have extra help and be in a regular class at the same time. From grades K-four, I used to have an aid to help me with focusing and doing well in school. As I entered fifth grade, I did so well that I didn’t need an aid anymore. When I entered North Junior-Senior High School, I needed help adjusting to the new environment. It was a bigger school with students from seventh through twelfth grade. I was immature and did not follow my schedule. If I saw my friends, I would sometimes go to their classes. I would get upset that I could not stay with them and would be rude to teachers. I used to have outbursts when I did not get my way. These were the reasons I needed aid again. However, I became more mature each year, and in eleventh grade, I no longer needed aid because I was doing extremely well. I have become more mature and currently do not have an aid. I was in inclusion classes from seventh-eleventh grade because I needed a lot of help with my work. Since I became independent, I got brought up to the resource room where I have a little help, but I only have one teacher in each of my classes.
I have been doing a lot better since I was diagnosed with autism. While some kids like my brother still go to a special needs school with a lot of teachers and aides like I did in preschool, I am able to go to school with my friends, have a driver’s license, a job, and what lots of other people my age have. I also have dreams of going to be a police officer for City of New York Police Department or Nassau County Police Department.
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.