Autism: A Tale of Success, Heartbreak, and Persistence

This guest post is by Kenneth (“Kole”) Spickler a young man who is diagnosed with autism and plans to attend Biola University. Kenneth 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.

Let’s face it.

Being someone on the autism spectrum has both its ups and downs.

Because of my autism, I have great analytical thinking skills. I have been really good at and fascinated with math since I was in fourth grade. I have also been listening to, and analyzing, classical music since I was eight years old. Since then, music has become a lifelong passion of mine. I started taking piano lessons and composing music when I was eleven. Then, when I was in tenth grade in high school, I took the school’s AP Music Theory class, and I was the first person in the history of the school to score both fives on the AP testing for that class.

But having autism has its downsides as well. I have had a really difficult time making friends and controlling my emotions. I have taken multiple social skills courses throughout my life, only to never put what I have learned into practice. Because my autism gives me a tendency to only focus on one particular task at a time, I spent my school years trying to get all my homework done without putting much effort into developing social connections with my peers. Small talk is not one of my strengths. I always hear people saying, “Hi. How are you?” “Good. How about you?” “I’m good too. Thank you for asking.” I don’t want to make conversations like that, because most of the time I’m not feeling good, so I don’t want to ask other people about their feelings. It also doesn’t help that I’m not very good with eye contact. To this day, because I don’t have any real friends, I still go to my mom to talk about my struggles and what’s been going on in my life. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve been extremely afraid that other people would bully me if they found that out about me. I have become so paranoid about getting bullied that I have actually started to bully myself, hoping that it will help me not get picked on by other people.

Things really got climactic when I went to college. I really felt like I couldn’t fit in with other people, mainly because I had different interests from a lot of the other people there. For instance, I am really passionate about old cartoons. I find them very light-hearted, whimsical, entertaining, and stylistically pleasing. But a lot of my peers at college liked things such as anime and newer cartoons, which have a more serious tone and I find their art styles to be more boring. I kept reflecting over times in the past when I could’ve found other people who had this shared passion with me but didn’t, and I was terrified that my peers over at college wouldn’t accept me for who I am. After struggling with all those thoughts, on top of my busy school schedule (I took fifteen units!), I ended up having not one, but two emotional outbursts where I physically harmed other students. The result was that I got suspended.

Now, I have been working to overcome my disability. I do chores around the house regularly, including washing dishes and doing laundry. I go to my church every weekend to help with cleaning. I go through therapy and coaching each week to help me manage my thoughts and emotions better. I’ve been making progress with those things, and my parents have really noticed the progress that I’ve made. I also try harder at developing social connections, especially with other people around my age at church. I still write music, but I’ve been trying out a lot of other hobbies too. Most notably, I have started to get into creative writing, and I’ve been going to writers’ workshops at my local library. In November of last year, I even worked on writing a 50,000-word novel about an eleven-year-old girl who, along with her talking pet dog, gets into a lot of crazy shenanigans in order to find her missing science fair project. Some days, though, I really had a hard time coming up with stuff to write for that big project. But I persevered and ended up doing a good job with the story. Recently, I also drew cartoon pictures of some of the characters from my novel. I also do a really good job of taking care of my body, including eating the right foods, exercising, and going on walks regularly.

I am planning on going back to college this coming fall, and I feel like your scholarship would help me be able to pay for school for when I do go back. I am so grateful for the chance to do this application.

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 (

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.

The post Autism: A Tale of Success, Heartbreak, and Persistence first appeared on Kerry Magro.

The post Autism: A Tale of Success, Heartbreak, and Persistence appeared first on Kerry Magro.


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