My First Time on Autism America Radio

 

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to speak for a few minutes on a new radio show called Autism America Radio on KTLK 1150 AM. This was my first time ever speaking on radio and it was a wonderful experience.

As someone diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, I mainly discussed my experience along with sharing one of my poems on the air. To even have the chance to express my thoughts on a major radio station in Los Angeles was very surreal. The hosts of the show, Film Producer Matthew Asner and Comedian Andrea Nittoli were very respectful and we ended up having a great conversation. To learn that there is an actual radio show now that discusses autism related topics was very exciting news.

I strongly encourage everyone to tune in next Saturday at 6 PM ET/3PT for the next showing of Autism America Radio. You can stream the entire show online here along with listen to previous shows through there podcast, available for free on Itunes here.

 

 

 

 

Earthquakes and Autism

About 3 hours ago today Virginia was hit by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake which shook a great deal of the East Coast. I live in New Jersey and could tell you it was a very scary situation. When the shaking began my first thought was that it was just a truck coming down our road. I quickly looked outside and realized that this was not the case as their was no vehicles driving down our block at that time. Then it suddenly hit me that we could very well be having a earthquake. While the shaking continued I felt incredibly uneasy to the point where my mind was drawing a blank and I was just holding on waiting for the shaking to stop.

A few minutes, after the last few tremors had stopped I quickly called both my parents to figure out what was going on. My dad confirmed that it was indeed an earthquake and that everything was going to be fine which I believed. I couldn’t help but thinking afterwards though about the whole concept of having a strategy when possible disasters come around. This especially holds true for families with individuals on the autism spectrum. When I was younger, the smallest little things would bother me like wind and rain and I couldn’t even think what would have happend if I went through an earthquake back then.

The best advice I could give to individuals with autism when these situations occur is to try and remain calm. Find something that you enjoy and try to focus on that for as long as the situation is going on. For me, it is also very comforting to know that I am on a flat surface and know I have myself balanced. It makes me feel like I’m in control regardless of what is going on. Ideally the bigger the magnitude the earthquake the more extreme the measures should be implemented. Just remember that earthquakes are ultimately going to be unexpected and the best way to prepare is by having a set plan based on where your child is on the spectrum.

How are you dealing with the Virginia earthquake? Do you have any specific ways of preparing for these types of situations?

Welcome to my Blog!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to my blog called, “KFM Making a Difference”. The idea for the blog along with the name came from a non-profit organization I’m starting called, “KFM Making a Difference in the Community” (the KFM stands for the initials of my name in Kerry Francis Magro). I’ve been writing blogs for several organizations the past few years and decided it was time to make the plunge into starting my own! I’ve done blogs so far through Autism Speaks, The SF Gate, and The Autism Society of America.  When I was 4 I was diagnosed with Autism and have been advocating for disability rights for a few years now. I will be discussing my life in more detail as I’m currently in the process of finishing my first novel focused on my college experiences.

My mission with this blog is mainly focused on  helping people become more aware of disabilities in general and hopefully to answer any questions anyone has. If you have a question, please feel free to post it on my fan page here or you can email me at kerry.magro@autismspeaks.org and I will do my best to answer! My hope is that I will be able through this blog to focus my topics based on your questions so the more feedback you provide the better!

In the meantime I hope you all have some time to check the blog out as I’ve posted a few of my past articles along with some ways to reach me via Social Media sites. If you can please feel free to check out my youtube page also along with subscribing/following the page for future posts.

Thanks everyone so much!

-Kerry

“Fixing Autism” Video

I was a huge fan of this video when it came out. A man name Lou did a video to promote Autism Awareness called “Fixing Autism”. Even though some people can’t speak who have autism doesn’t mean we still can’t get the word out about advocating for Autism.

The only problem I really had was the title. The whole concept of “Fixing” autism is somewhat debatable. What are your thoughts of the video?

*You can read more/watch more videos from Lou at Lou Land here.*

My Name is Kerry and I have PDD-NOS

My name is Kerry and I have Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified.

This means I have autism.

This does not mean I am autism.

This means I see the world sometimes in a different light.

This does not mean I’m in the dark.

This means from time to time I may have a difficulty expressing my emotions.

This does not mean I don’t feel.

This means when I communicate, I do it with a style that is my own.

This does not mean I don’t have a voice.

This means I may have sensitivity when it comes to a certain feel or touch.

This means sounds can sometimes make me feel uneasy.

This does not mean I’m deaf or hard of hearing.

This means I can often focus on certain interests for a long period of time.

This does not mean those are my only interests.

This means that I’m the only person in my family to have this.

This does not mean I’m alone.

This means I may have 500 other symptoms/capabilities that are different than yours.

This does not mean I’m any less of a person than you are.

My name is Kerry, and regardless of what PDD-NOS means or doesn’t mean, autism can’t define me, I define autism. I can only hope those individuals, regardless of being autistic or not can define their lives and their journeys in the way they see it.

*I wrote this about a year ago with my eyes closed and with an open heart. I believe we all need something; a symbol in some cases, to remind us of who we are and what we are striving to be. This is one article that has helped me immensely.  I plan on sharing this article with my school for World Autism Awareness Day along with an Autism Society of America Conference this Summer. You can also find this article here. Thank you.*

17 Wishes from an Adult with Autism

 

If I had to make a list, this is what I would wish for the Autism Community…

1. I wish that acceptance was easier to come by.

2. I wish that loving one another was always on our mind.

3. I wish that an “early diagnosis” remains a high priority.

4. I wish that people would stop calling autism a disease.

5. I wish that communication becomes easier for everyone with autism. We are trying.

6. I wish that we find more treatments to enhance the lives of people with autism.

7. I wish that insurance for autism gets passed in all 50 states.

8. I wish that the government would understand the need for services for the autistic in schools.

9. I wish that autistic individuals can one day live their lives independently.

10. I wish that I was capable of helping more.

11. I wish that people would stop using the words “socially awkward” and “retard” in a negative way.

12. I wish we raise awareness for all with disabilities. Those of us living with a disability are doing our very best.

13. I wish for those who are or love someone who is on the spectrum that you know that we are moving forward every single day.

14. I wish that all of our voices can be heard.

15. I wish everyone will follow the words of one of my favorite performers of all time, Michael Jackson who sang in his song called, “Man in the Mirror”, If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.

16. I wish you all knew me when I was 4, when I was diagnosed with autism. For a long time I was lost. Scared of myself and what I was capable of. I never thought I would be where I am today… but I did it. I graduated from Seton Hall University this past May and will be going to Graduate School for Strategic Communications in the fall to boot. So for my final wish:

17. I wish for you all to always live life with hope. I wish that your days are filled with hope for a better tomorrow, and for today no matter how dark life gets sometimes that you realize you’re never alone. I wish this for you…

* I encourage everyone in the Autism Community to remember that we must come together as a true community to put our best foot forward. I know we all have a lot of wishes out there so let’s avoid distractions and focus on progress so we can all, “Make a Difference”. You can also find this article in the SFGate here and through Autism Speaks here.