What’s the Future for Children with Autism

Living With Autism Workshop keynote speaker tackles every parent’s worry: ‘What’s going to happen to them when I’m gone?’

As a child, Kerry Magro found himself unable to tell the people he cared about most that he was hungry, thirsty or that he loved them. For many children with autism, including Magro, this is their reality. Still, he believes the future for children with autism is bright.

“But when my parents realized that I didn’t have any words, and for a while I didn’t have any sounds, they began to worry about what my future would be. Thankfully, though, my parents became my biggest advocates. While people were telling my parents that, ‘oh, he’s a late bloomer, he’ll grow out of it,’ they never took that advice,” Magro says during a TEDx Talk titled  ‘What happens to children with autism when they become adults.’

Luckily for Magro, for the next 18 months, they did everything they could to help him. When he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder not Otherwise Specified, a form of autism, he says they were relieved and set out to get him rigorous occupational, physical and speech therapy.

“One of the hardest things I think I hear in my profession today as an autism advocate is when I talk to a parent who says that their child was just diagnosed with autism. Not because that kid can’t do amazing things in this world, but because of the uncertainty that autism can bring,” he says during the talk.

It’s this background that Magro, an award-winning autistic professional speaker who has written several bestselling books and consulted on several motion pictures, brings to metro Detroit Nov. 6-8 to kick off the 16th annual Living With Autism Workshop, presented by Henry Ford Health and Metro Parent.

He’s proof there is a future for children with autism. And it’s not just words; as CEO and President of his nonprofit KFM Making A Difference, Magro hosts inclusion events and has provided 100 college scholarships for students with autism since 2011 to help secure that future as well as grants to small businesses that hire people with autism.

“Kids are growing up, such as myself, every single day on the autism spectrum, and we have to be ready for these kids,” he said in the talk.

Inspiration, hope and help

On day one of the Living with Autism Workshop, Magro will share inspiration with parents and professionals and answer their questions about the future for kids with autism. The kernel of that idea started at his first autism conference when a parent asked him: What will happen to my child when I’m gone?

“This isn’t something that only affects our autism community, but it affects every single one of us in this room. We’re always thinking about what will happen to my child when I’m gone? Will they have supports? Will they be able to progress to live their dreams? And for me, this became the million dollar question in our autism community,” he said during the talk.

There are so many questions parents with a child with autism have, he says. Will my child be able to find a job? Will my child be able to go to college? Will my child be able to find supports after they age out of school? Will my child be supported financially? Will my child be able to find love one day?

“No matter where you are in the autism spectrum, regardless if it’s a child or adult, this is why it hits so many of us, and as an autism advocate, there are many things we can do to focus on that transition to adulthood,” he says.

Magro’s tips for the future

Ask questions

“When you’re uncertain about different weaknesses that your child is going through in their life, being educated and having the research there to help provide you with the proper resources is crucial.”

Stay self-motivated and self-reflect.

“After your child goes to bed every single night, write down what they do well and what they had weaknesses and challenges with for that day as they grow up. Read over that journal and reflect on what they have done best and what they could work on, not only with your family, but that child’s village, that child’s school, the child’s therapist.”

Advocate.

“We need to teach these kids as they grow into adults with autism, how to advocate for themselves, but that doesn’t mean that we only stop with them. We need to advocate for our kids’ rights every single day because we are their village and they are part of our community.

Find your village

“And as our kids grow up, I want to see them be able to achieve their dreams, dreams such as being able to find a job, being able to graduate from college, being able to find love one day, being able to get married.”

And most important, he says, he wants people with autism to find happiness in whatever they decide to do in their lives.

Check out the packed three-day schedule and get tickets now so you don’t miss out on the hope, help and inspiration. Follow Magro’s journey on Facebook.


Follow Metro Parent on Instagram

Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.

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