We are All Brilliant Masterpieces

This guest post is by Benjamin Schaben, a young man who is diagnosed with autism and is attending Moberly Area Community College. Schaben 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.

Growing up autistic or with any disability is never easy. Many make an assumption that you are incapable/incompetent, weird and/ or not worthy of friendship. I want to tell you that you are capable, competent, perfect, and worthy of friendship. It’s a sad reality that even school districts label children and write them off when they have an IEP. As long as I tried and attended class, I was an automatic pass. If it wasn’t for my mom helping me read, write and breakdown concepts I would not be where I am today. Today I am enrolled into a junior college with minimal accommodations. I have proven to myself and others that I am capable and competent! I have learned this as well in my employment opportunities. At first, I may be slower than others, but in time I can produce the same as someone without a disability.

Growing up autistic, you are labeled as “weird”. WE are not weird!! We have the ability to think outside the box, view things objectively and solve complex theories. Without our brilliant minds, where would we be? Some of the most famous theorist, inventors, creators and actors were diagnosed with Autism. I have never heard people describe Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Sir Issac Newton or Jerry Seinfeld as weird. Society has accepted them for their brilliancy and contributions. They are deemed “perfect” and we are too. No matter how small or large, the world needs all of us and what we have to offer.

I long for friendships and a sense of belonging. I still struggle with making friends, but I am very proud of the few I have. In my pursuit of finding friends, I was used and taken advantage of. Each time, I have learned from the experience and keep putting myself out there. We are the most loyal of friends. We spent our life conforming to expectations and norms set by society not to be judged, so we are less likely to judge others. With my friends, I can relax and be myself. They accept me for my quirks and uniqueness, and I accept them.

In life, being autistic has been a blessing. It has challenged me and taught me to overcome obstacles. I view communication as an art form and work daily to build my masterpiece. I have a brilliant mind and think outside the box. I have proven to myself that I am capable and competent, I am attending junior college and doing well in my 1st semester. I know that I can hold a job and contribute to society. At times, things are overwhelming, but I recommend all those that have walked in my shoes to keep putting one foot in front of the other. We know what hard work is and are not afraid to put the work in. We face the challenges head on work hard to overcome them. Keep believing in yourself as we are capable, competent, brilliant, “normal”, loyal, loving and worthy of friendships.

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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