You would know I was nonverbal at 2 and a half
You would know I was diagnosed with autism at 4
You would know I got kicked out of two preschools
You would know I had extreme sensory-integration difficulties
You would know I would lash out to get attention when I couldn’t communicate on my own
You would know I twirled my hair
You would know that when I was in school, my peers labeled special education “wrong” instead of “special”
You would know I spent hundreds of hours a year in therapy to get to where I am
You would know I spent hundreds of hours being bullied because of my diagnosis
You would know that being institutionalized was a possibility.
But if you also knew me…
You would know I graduated grade school
You would know I graduated high school
You would know I graduated college
You would know I received a masters degree
You would know I'm currently pursuing my doctorate
You would know I have a job
You would know I consulted for a major motion picture
You would know I live independently
You would know I consult to help parents who have children with autism
You would know I am a national speaker, life coach and author
You would know I have had a girlfriend
You would know I love my family, my friends and the autism community out there
You would know that I’m Kerry, and no matter what autism means or doesn’t mean I’m being the best me I can be
Only if you knew me...
If you are reading this, please know that autism can’t define our loved ones and only we can define autism. I know so many kids on the spectrum today who are trying to be the very best they can be. We as a community have so many unique and beautiful stories to share so please make sure they are heard."
Via Kerry Magro #AutismAwareness
Read more: https://www.autismspeaks.org/…/…/03/poem-only-if-you-knew-me
Have a story about growing up with autism? Share it with us at InOurOwnWords@autismspeaks.org
In 2016 we hope to make #LIUB even bigger! Pledge to wear blue on April 2nd, 2016 today: http://bit.ly/LIUBplus
We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.
Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.
Autism Speaks. It's time to listen.