How autism has affected both my life and death

This guest post is by Aidan Monahan, a young man who is diagnosed with autism and plans to attend Florida State University. Monahan 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.

Ever since I was born I have been told life is not fair. However, it never really occurred to me for years and years what that statement meant. A lack of fairness isn’t just found in not getting your favorite toy or having to share but in life-changing events. Some people will be diagnosed with deadly diseases such as cancer or dementia, due to no fault of their own. Others will be diagnosed with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia or PTSD. However, I felt invincible to these types of disabilities. One day in 4th grade I realized, however, that I am not invincible.
I didn’t even know what autism was, yet I screamed and cried. Something about the word left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t until years after that I realized how much it affected me. Freaking out at things people might have seen as small, but to me, it made a world of difference. I was treated differently by others, for better or worse. Some people were kind to me, yet in a way, it felt off. It felt almost too kind, like they were wearing a mask. I just wanted to be normal, not be treated too harshly or like a 5-year-old boy.
Moving a lot certainly didn’t help my condition. Every time I moved I wanted to get rid of the autism. Trying to act like a completely different person, but it would always come back. It was foolish, but it was all I had. I knew deep down that it wouldn’t work. Slowly but surely, my true personality would come back. I couldn’t avoid it, it was who I was after all.
Eventually, after every move that I took, I would find people who saw me for me. There were ups and downs, but these people made it seem worth it. Despite the cruel circumstances that I encountered, I could fall back into their safety and comfort. However, just when I became comfortable with one place, it seemed to all slip away.
Every move I took, changed me deeply. I saw new places and made new friends, but the journey to get there was nevertheless difficult. I would have to say goodbye to basically
everyone I knew and cherished. I would see some of them again, but some of them I would never see again. Most of them were due to changing circumstances, and life taking us on different paths. However, some had a much darker fate.
It was only two and a half years after his passing when I found out a good friend of mine had passed away. The pain of having nobody to share your heartache and struggles with impacted me profoundly. Everyone else had basically moved on, but I hadn’t. I didn’t have time to greave, and truly process the loss that occurred.
It was only nine months later when I found out about the passing of another friend. I saw him only a few weeks ago, and now he was gone. A person who heavily impacted my life would never see the daylight again; he would never walk the Earth again.
This time, however, I can grieve with others. Others who knew him best and loved him greatly. We could share how he impacted our lives and reunite with one another.
His death brought us together. We connected even in terrible circumstances. Coming together made us whole, and we were able to honor him. A man who gave us so much love, it only seemed natural to give him back a small fraction of that love.
We could never repay him for all that he did for us, but we could try. We could carry on the torch that he passed us for as long as our bodies could last. We weren’t made to carry that torch alone. He impacted us during his life and would continue to impact him in his death.
He may have been gone from the Earth, but his impact on the Earth was far from gone.
Both of changed my life for the better. Even though I may never be able to thank them, I can still live on for them.
There will never be a day in my life again. that my autism won’t affect me. It’s been able to open doors for me that I never thought possible. I’m still a human being and that won’t change until I die. I already knew how I was put on the earth, but my autism helped me figure out why.

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.


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