The Autism Society Event and Education Recordings Archive

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Autism Society records most keynote and concurrent sessions at their annual conferences. You can see and hear those recordings by purchasing full online access, or individual recordings.

5789 Kerry Magro Presents: College on the Spectrum

Saturday, July 9, 2011: 1:30 PM-2:45 PM
Miami 2 (Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center)
College on the Spectrum is a student’s presentation of how he got to and survived the college experience being on the spectrum and how his experiences, both good and bad, can help students with autism transition into adulthood. Kerry Magro, a senior at Seton Hall University, will present on his experiences, how he founded a disability awareness organization and a non-profit for special needs housing, and his work on his novel called “Autism: The College Spectrum.” Life with Autism: Family and College Support, Personal Perspectives, Advocacy Strategies, Success Stories

Transition Planning, Employment, Residential, Self-Determination and Independence

Kerry’s presentation will consist of a personal perspective of what has happened in the 4 years since he came to Scottsdale Arizona to accept his award. Indeed his recognition there put him on a course as he entered college. But what happened there is what should be shared with everyone. The challenges he faced being away from home, living in a dorm for the first time, the lack of accommodations that led him to become a Resident Assistant on Campus, taking care of other students, the interest in raising money for autism, the decision to create a student organization on campus for students with disabilities, those efforts led him to speak at Transitioning into Adulthood with Autism events. Getting noticed as an advocate he appeared in films, and has recently appeared on National TV as a panelist on “Breakthroughs in Autism, Steve Adubato Show”. His latest achievement being was being designated as a Youth Representative to the United Nations for Non Profit Organizations Representative on Autism. Kerry has also taken the time to inspire others through his writing. Kerry has written several blogs and is writing a book called “Autism: The College Spectrum” which discusses his life with autism along with tips for surviving college with a learning disability.

  1. Session Content 1: Main Discussion Point: Student Disability Awareness (SDA)

One of my main focuses in my presentation will be on the founding of the student organization “Student Disability Awareness”. I explain SDA in more detail below:

In 2008, I founded an undergraduate, student-run organization at Seton Hall University called, Student Disability Awareness (SDA). It is an organization focused on spreading disability awareness for both temporary and permanent disabilities.

At Seton Hall, disability awareness is something that is rarely promoted or discussed. 350 students are registered with a disability on our campus, along with another 650+ others who are not. We are one of the largest minorities at Seton Hall (this should not be a surprise considering people with disabilities in general are the largest minority in the world). SDA was the first disability awareness organization ever created at Seton Hall and with Autism Speaks U, we will have a second. With this organization, we move a step closer to giving disability awareness a voice, not just through Seton Hall, but all of New Jersey with our community run events throughout the state

  1. Session Content 2: Main Discussion Point: Writing: Blogs and Novel about Autism

I would like to present my blogs and my progress on my book. Some of my blog topics are found below along with specific comments on each: Each one has an embedded link which you can click on to review the blogs. All my work can be found at the following link as well:

            Autism Blogs                            Comments

Reflection on Autism Great blog post Kerry! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experiences with Autism. You are truly an inspiration to everyone with autism and I am blessed to know you. Having advocated for many years in congress on behalf individuals and families affected by autism I can say without hesitation that it is people like Kerry who are making the real difference every day in people’s lives. – NJ Senator Robert Menendez
The Blind Side   Very nice post Kerry, I’m sure you will overcome any problem you might have in the future with this attitude.
The End of the IEP and the Beginning of “Reasonable Accommodations”   Very good advice and hints for students who are bound for college and just happen to have ASD. You have much to offer, Kerry. Keep advocating for yourself and others! Your parents must be so proud of you.
Who to Tell About Being Autistic?   I loved reading your post Kerry! Thank you. What a great quote “…the only way to defeat ignorance is by awareness.” You have so many reasons to be proud, you are great. Keep up the good work!
Living in the College Dorms with Autism   Thanks again for your article. We are trying to make it through our first year in middle school, another major transition.
Love and Autism: My Progression in Relationships   Kerry, thank you so much for your honesty concerning your relationships. My beautiful 3 1/2 year old grandson is on the autism spectrum. He is such a happy child and brings all his huge extended family such joy. Kerry, you are a talented writer. Please keep sharing your insights. Thank you…

Coming Out: Autism in College  

Thanks for having the courage to speak out! You give hope to so many families dealing with the first stages of learning their child is autistic and wondering what lies ahead for these special children. I admire you and wish you nothing but success with all that lies in your future! Thanks for sharing your story with us.


Learning Objectives:

  • Personal perspective of an individual on the spectrum
  • Advocacy and transitioning into adulthood

Content Area: Life with Autism


Kerry F. Magro
Stillman Leadership Development Honors Prgoram
Seton Hall University

Kerry Magro received the ASA 2007 CVS All Kids Can scholarship after which he spent four amazing years at college. He was part of Seton Hall's Leadership Development Honors Program,created new SGA organization called the Student Disability Awareness Association, and is an advocate for disabled students