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This guest post is by Skyler Patterson, a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into Berry College. Skyler 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. Can I ask for a favor? I’m trying to make this nonprofit self-sufficient so I can make this my full-time job supporting the special needs community and would appreciate you taking a minute before reading on to watch this video below and subscribing to our Youtube page here to get to learn more about the work we do in the community.

Posted by Kerry Magro on Thursday, January 7, 2021

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 very small and severely developmentally delayed. My Mom and I began doing all we could to help me catch up. I was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder/autism and given a list of limitations I would face. As I worked hard and grew, I seemed to overcome most of the limits and excel. I did great in school, participated in sports and had a few good friends. I became a great big brother and helped my Mom a lot.

As I entered high school, my family was hit with a financial hardship out of the blue. It was nothing that we had any control over. Over the next couple of years we struggled to survive and not lose our home. I began to work on a farm as soon as I was 16 and have been able to help my mom, when needed. She has always paid it back, even though I did not expect it. She made sure my brother and sister and I had what we needed and I was still able to play baseball and participate in other school activities. I could say these distractions may have had an impact on my academic performance; however, I am maintaining about a 3.7 GPA and taking Honors, Dual Enrollment and AP classes while being involved in extracurricular and community activities.

During this time we were struggling, I began to return to an old habit of twirling my hair, to the point of having bald places. My Mom wanted to make sure I was okay and had me see someone. He said I was very healthy emotionally and dealt with things very well. My behavior was a manifestation of the High Functioning Autism diagnosis, from so many years ago, that we had almost forgotten about. I still catch myself doing that but have some replacement behaviors I can use.

I tell you all these personal things to help you know a little bit about who I am and how I have gotten to be who I am, and to help you see that I do not let things get me down. I don’t use excuses and don’t quit. I work hard at the things I do. I don’t face things alone. I have an excellent support system in my family, my God and my friends. I can handle what life and college throw at me.

Follow my journey on Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, & Instagram!

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.