A Positive Life: Developing to Understanding My Autism Diagnosis

This guest post is by Karissa Kondyles, a young woman who is diagnosed with autism and plans to attend Georgia Highlands College. Kondyles is applying for the Spring 2024 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. Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams, our nonprofit’s new book, was released on March 29, 2022, on Amazon here for our community to enjoy featuring the stories of 100 autistic adults.

I became identified as autistic in 2009. However, this diagnosis did not define me. For all my life, I have always been responsible, friendly, talented, and interested in many idealistic things, such as reading, learning, art, music, and life skills. Not only was I interested in these, they also have helped me understand myself and the world around me. For instance, I have taken advantage of my actions and appreciated seeing new things, which are just some of the small steps that lead to a positive, healthy life. My life had such great value for one who was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of three. One of the indicators that my life had such great value was that I have met truly kind people over the years and developed some meaningful relationships with them, whether it happened at school, therapy, or in my hometown. I was easy to talk to and get along with, and I have developed a great intellect, partly because of the people I met. Some of the people I met helped me succeed in life, leading me to feel proud of going through thick and thin. I strive to succeed, and I have developed strong problem-solving, creative, and prudent skills, which all explain that I am a fervent, hard-working adolescent, who has warm optimism and always sees the good in everything, despite having Asperger’s.

What drives me is the motive to be unique. It would always be strange if everyone was the same. I am glad I am different, so that it is easier for everyone I meet and interact with to see and remember me for who I am, which everyone I met did. As well-known children’s author and illustrator Theodore Geisel, or Dr. Seuss, says, “why fit in when you were born to stand out!” This quote has really spoken to me, which increased my potential to be who I really am inside. Because of being who I really am inside, the result throughout my life has been beyond exceptional. I could not have been happier. My teachers, my parents, my community members, my twin sister, and all my family members and friends have praised me because of my motive, which also contains my kindness and intelligence. I was taught the most acceptable and important way to live, something that fortunately came naturally to me. I also put my motive and charisma, which also came naturally to me, into practice.

Although I have had difficulties, like everyone in today’s day and age, I embrace the character and positivity my whole family has everywhere I go, and in the place I stay, which is the State of Georgia, my home state. I grew up and will continue to live my life there. I deserved to have a positive, resonant life, with many sights to see and understand, that fortunately Georgia had a lot of to offer. My whole life was and is here in Georgia. Everything I have done here, from playing as a child to being in chorus, has given me great self-esteem. Eventually, my self-esteem increased, because of the growth of my positivity and flexibility in my life here in Georgia. Lots of places in this state and moments in my life resonate with me. It was unsurprising to me that where I lived, where I was, and what I was doing would give me such confidence. As luck would have it, I was moved by my confidence, thanks to my motive and charisma. How important my charisma is to me is that it also helped increase my self-esteem.

My peers were incredibly supportive that they helped me with my IEP. I am thankful I had an IEP so everything would be comprehendible to me. An IEP for my school career was, without a doubt, a game-changer. Even when I did not focus on my IEP, I exemplified awareness, intelligence, integrity, and attentiveness, which led me to be given great recognition from my peers. Not only do I have those qualities, but I am also caring and give others a piece of who I truly am inside. I am so caring and trustworthy that I am also very thankful. Everything just mentioned helped me mature into the young adult that I am today, making me proud of myself and my accomplishments. I am very proud because everything, from a happy childhood to helpful people, impacted me so I could succeed in life. My qualities not only helped me mature into who I am today, but also helped me realize that whether I have autism or not, I can do so much in life. Just being reminded of all the greatness coming from who I am as a person will help me tomorrow, always, and forever, and once again, my autism diagnosis does not define me.

Follow my journey on Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, Tiktok, Youtube & Instagram.

What happens to children with autism, when they become adults? | Kerry Magro | TEDxMorristown (youtube.com)

My name is Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum. I started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue 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.

Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams was released on March 29, 2022 on Amazon here for our community to enjoy featuring the stories of 100 autistic adults. 100% of the proceeds from this book will go back to our nonprofit to support initiatives like our autism scholarship program. In addition, this autistic adult’s essay you just read will be featured in a future volume of this book as we plan on making this into a series of books on autistic adults.


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