When One Door Closes, Another Opens

This guest post is by Jack Rau, a young man who is diagnosed with autism and plans to attend Merrimack College. Jack 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 come from a small town, with small beginnings. When I was young, I lived in a big city, and when I moved away to a small town, things changed, including the kind of person I became. I love building things; my mind works in a way in which I am always trying to find solutions and enhance resources. I was living life as a feather blows in the wind; letting life take me wherever it goes. When the time for my move had come, I was not aware of the significance this change would have on me. I would realize later on this would be one of the most important changes in my life.
If someone were to ask me about my childhood before the move, I would describe it like a game that gets you so transfixed, you have no idea how much time has passed. It is as if a high school graduate is just now realizing that they are leaving childhood behind. My childhood was a game because that is how my brain is wired, consistently creating enjoyment out of every opportunity. However, all good things must come to an end. The education system and our neighborhood had changed, as had I, and we realized that life in the big city was no longer a game, it was time to move. When we arrived, the gray, musty city air diminished and the bright, fresh, country air took its place.
Through this move, I was obliged to get out into the world, see new things, and meet new people. However, where new things come, challenges follow. Being the new kid, I faced many problems, including one particular person who paid no attention to me. Later in the school year, I joined the Video Production Club. Through learning about myself and my interests, we reconnected and he became one of my closest friends, as we realized how similar we actually were. I could have dwelled on this change and challenge but I learned more about myself than I ever had; a new understanding of human nature, and that of my nature, most of all.
Fast forward to the present, my dad and I saw the parents of a friend from my gray, musty city. We talked about our lives and reconnected in ways that made me feel evolved. When they left, I realized just because I had moved away, that does not mean that what lived in the past was gone. I felt a new sense of purpose and self-discovery. I now know that my past failures have been the greatest teacher to me, as I learned what went wrong and how I can adapt in the future.
People are not aware of what life has in store for them until they have the capacity to reflect and understand the meaning of their experiences. I used to not see the value in challenges and hardships, but now I am much more appreciative of what I have learned, regardless of how the message came to me. Had I not moved away from the city, I may not have learned these beneficial lessons in life, and I may not have even seen the value in the lessons themselves. My perspective on the most treasured things in life has drastically changed since my move, as it brought awareness to the present moment. Dwelling on the past or anticipating the future is pernicious, as one never learns the message of the darkest times until they are over. Accepting that everything happens for a reason is key to happiness. As I enter college, I bring with me my new mindset and awareness to share with this community. On reflecting from my past, I realized that just because something is lost does not mean that it will be forgotten, or never found again.

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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