Read a Guest Post From Kerry Magro, An Outstanding Advocate Living with Autism

When He Grows Up

This blog post is by Kerry Magro. Kerry, an adult living with Autism, and an advocate for the Autism community. He recently started a new video blog called “My Autism My Voice,” where he discusses a variety of Autism-related topics. If you would like to contact him directly about questions/comments related to this post he can be reached at kerrymagro@gmail.com or through his Facebook page here.

I often asked myself where I would be when I grew up. Some of the questions I asked myself were…

  • Would I go to college?
  • Would I live independently?
  • Would I have a job?
  • Would my dreams come true?

These are some of the more simple goals for adulthood that people strive to achieve but for me it was always something more. You see, when I was I was 4 I was diagnosed with autism. In my life I’ve gone through countless challenges to get to where I am today. Today, I’m a college graduate, living in an apartment with 2 of my close friends and am a hired consultant for Autism Speaks.

One of the bigger problems I see out there in the autism community today though involves when children like I once was grow up. Where do we go? What do we do? What services are there to provide and protect us? When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have a strong and loving support system at home to help me even in my darkest hours. This is where I’m concerned for the future and which is why I strongly support the work done here by The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation.

Today, we have over 1.5 million people in The U.S who are living with autism. I think one of the main things we forget when we look at autism is that autism doesn’t just go away once you hit 18. It’s something that is a part of who you are for your entire life. Many autism-related organizations and resources today often focus on how to help with children, how to help with early intervention, what treatments to use, but when it comes to resources for adults I think we are still missing out.

And at what cost will this be for our loved ones? Children do become adults at some point. The transition into early care services to adult services needs to be a smooth one and we are not there yet.

So what can we do? First I truly believe we must focus on a long-term perspective of what adults need. Autism is a very wide spectrum. I often tell people, “If you know one person with autism…well…you know one person with autism.” We must look at the range of what is needed between treatments, services, housing, employment, etc. We must have a blue print of what this looks like as well which is why I’m very grateful for Daniel Jordan Foundation’s initiative focused on Blueprint Programs of what this looks like.

At the end of the day though I think our best strategy involves focusing on awareness efforts. If we look at it for example as parents saving up for college for their kids we need to start saving up on awareness efforts so once the time comes we know what’s needed and how to provide it. That’s the challenge that lies ahead for our loved ones when they grow up.

Let’s make the effort for that tomorrow, today! There is so much hope out their within our community so let’s stay focused, stay motivated, and keep making a difference! Good things lie ahead if we do it together!

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1 Comment

  1. Kerry is pictured on the left of Linda and Stephen Daly is on the right. This photo was taken at an event hosted by US Senator Robert Menendez to celebrate the passage of the Senator’s Combating Autism Act. Kerry and Stephen both spoke at the event and shared their support of the Act.

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