This guest post is by David Sinchi, a young man on the autism spectrum who has been accepted and hopes to attend Drexel University. David 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!).

One. Two. One, two, three, four‒
I was diagnosed with Aspergers when I was two years old. Each year, I’ve been improving step-by-step.

Left, left, left, right, left

Marching band has taught me to push through challenges the same way I push through other challenges everyday. I didn’t understand it at first, until now. When we won 1st place at the Chapter 10 Championships, I realized we were able to push through all the challenges and bring out an amazing result to our band. To me, marching band isn’t about pushing ourselves to the limit, but pushing ourselves towards the right direction.

Ever since I could remember, I’ve been playing music. I enjoyed putting more work into my skills for a long time, and I enjoy meeting difficult challenges. P laying a challenging song proves to me that I can pull it off. When I want to hear someone play the song I loved to hear, I can just play it myself. It’s just something that I can do whether I get bored or if I want to clear my mind off. Not to mention I can play by ear. When life gets hard on me from time to time, I’ll just strum my guitar to think and let things slip out of mind along with my songs.

Entering high school and joining the marching band was a great experience for me; however, there were a couple of challenges that I had to face. For example, the extreme cold weather was a challenge for obvious reasons. My very last competition was the coldest out of all of them. I thought

my whole body was going to feel numb. Just as I thought I wanted to turn away from the bitter cold, I knew for a fact that I had a competition to win and that everyone was counting on us.

In my opinion, the toughest challenge for me was to work alongside with the other band members. I had a hard time socializing with other people who I didn’t know about.) However, I couldn’t just let that get the best of me. When it came time to work together, I began to grow closer with the other band members. We got to know each other better. I was able to push through my challenge and socialize a little with the people who had the same interests as I do. All members have their differences, but marching band has proven to us that we can still work together if we just try.

Ever since I discovered that I had Aspergers, I always thought I stood out from the group. I felt like I was different and couldn’t be taken seriously. Marching band, however, gave me the sense of belonging I was always searching for. Everyone was different in their own way and they can be weird in a good way . Some of them have similarities as well including me. For example, there were a couple of times how I was talking with some other kids about game characters, such as Overwatch or Fortnite . The drum line was even interested in my character index cards I created. Overall, I realized that there were people who had similar interests as I did. It made me realized that I can really connect with others, despite the social setbacks I’ve faced in the past.

So whenever I hear the count off, “ One. Two. One, two, three, fourI’m always ready to play with my newfound team. I can always remember how my heart starts to race whenever it’s time to play. I’ll never forget those good times I had with PHHS marching band and I’m looking forward to what the college marching band has in store for me in the near future. I am willing to take on the next challenge, step by step.

“Left, left, left, right, left

—–

Fandom Fantasy

It was the final round. I teleport into the final arena, ready for another match. I was facing familiar fighters for the trophy, and I knew that I was going against experts in this match. However, there was no way I’m turning away from this fight. I might stand a chance against these fighters. My heart started racing as the fighters were getting into position while the countdown began. ​3…2…1…FIGHT!

“DAVID!” shouted my mom, as I snapped back into reality.

“Are you working on your gaming poster again this late at night?” She was standing at the doorway as I was already starting to close the program and shut down the computer. I was imagining about my fantasy game play again, which made me forget that it was getting late. “You can’t keep doing this, David,” she responded. “​mañana, tienes que levantarte temprano,”​ or, I have to wake up early.

“I know, Mom,” I responded. “I’ll go to bed now.” I was so lost from reality that I was imagining Super Fandom Melee again, a game I have been drafting for months.

My single mother moved all the way from Colombia to give her children the opportunities to chase after their dreams. She really can’t afford to buy professional equipment, so I am lucky to use the free application to create my projects. No one taught me these skills at home or in school, so I taught myself by researching and watching tutorials.

With all these fantasies in my head, however, they happened to occasionally make me space out from reality. Perhaps it’s a symptom of my Asperger’s. However, that was proven false because I’ve made like-minded friends who love what I can create and it, in fact, grounded me to reality.

Before I had these dream goals of becoming an animator and game designer, I had an interest on any kind of “fandom.” In other words, I was being a fan of something that other people have enjoyed and came together to support. That was when Source Filmmaker got my attention. I quickly taught myself how to use this application and soon, I was creating projects of my own.

I enjoy and observe movies and video games based on action scenes and what builds to their character. I then picture those and paste them in my ideas, while comparing them to the real world. For example, I use those training scenes during my martial arts classes by using similar fighting patterns. It also reminds me to be stronger when I show confidence to my opponents. All the hard work I’ve put into martial arts over six years has gotten me to even reach my black belt. Determination was also a skill that I used from this method in order for me to reach higher ranks for Boy Scouts. I’m only one below my Eagle Scout, and I’m determined that I’ll successfully earn it by executing my enterprise before the school year ends.

The fast action scenes in my games get me energetic when playing in other sports. For example, I can use that advantage when I play basketball, performing in marching band, or skiing down a mountain. The way the characters are focused helps me focus on other events in life. The interactions with the characters help me interact with other people in my everyday life.

I could use these skills as an advantage to help me with my school year. After all, college is just around the corner, along with my dream projects. Even though I may not want to go to bed while I still have so much to create, I need to continue my fantasy mindset as I take on the real world tomorrow!

“​Once again, all fighters are down for the count. It was a tough fight, but I was lucky enough to be the last one standing. My quest for victory has only begun.”

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.