This guest post is by Eliana Sarah Marie Hambleton, a young woman on the autism spectrum who has been accepted and is attending Liberty University. Eliana is applying for the Spring 2020 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 and how to apply for my scholarship here. 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 the video below to see why this cause is important to me. 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 here.

To the Lost Little Girl,

You’ve always wondered why you are so different.  Why would the other children laugh when you were completely serious?  Why do your parents call you “quirky” and your friends call you “a little weird”?  You are good, aren’t you?  You’ve always questioned that.  Not just your worth, but whether you are good or bad.

I could tell you that everything will get better, but to be honest, you’re still struggling.  Right now, you are making decisions that will affect your mind in the future.  Your family and friends will forgive you, don’t worry.  They’ll learn to understand why you do these things.  You don’t know this yet, but you have something called autism.  You’ll discover this six months before you turn nineteen.

But you’ve always known something is different about you.  You knew when you watched the other children playing at the park and you didn’t want to join in because you were scared you would say something stupid.  You knew every time you made the same mistake and you couldn’t tell your parents you were sorry anymore because you didn’t know if you would do the same thing again in the future.  You saw in your parents’ eyes the confusion and the hurt.  They expected your best, but they and you didn’t know what your best was.

You try so hard and you’ve worked on it for so long, but everything seems to go wrong.  Every time you open your mouth, every time you hide your face, every time you cry without making a noise so no one will find you.

You’re still struggling, but baby, it gets better.  Your family listens to your words and works to fix the problems.  Your friends hold your heart and comfort you when something triggers your anxiety or depression.  You have family that will always be there for you.  You have friends that have stayed longer than a year and that want to stay for much longer.

You have yourself, someone that will challenge and encourage you until the day you die. You will get stronger. You will make fewer mistakes, and those that you do, you’ll be brave enough to fix them.  You will connect with people that understand you.  You will work towards your dreams and improve in your passions.  It gets better, I promise.

Love, Eliana

To all the other lost girls,

You are beautiful.  Your heart, your mind, your body, and every aspect of your personality is beautiful.  The way you think is extraordinary.  The way you express yourself is genuine and honest; the people around you just don’t understand it yet, but they will.  You will understand yourself as well.  It takes time, and it takes work, but you are strong enough.

The strength you possess is greater than that of the entire universe.  You can achieve your dreams and advocate for yourself.  But most importantly, you can accept yourself.  That’s the first step, and I’m here for you now and until you no longer want me.  I will be the first to accept you, and I will be here until you find your way and no longer need my support.

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.