The Autism Center at Misericordia University’s fourth annual Autism Speaker Series is presenting award-winning motivational speaker and best-selling author Kerry Magro who is on the autism spectrum for the symposium, “Defining Autism: From Nonverbal to Professional Speaker,’’ on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall. A book signing will be held immediately after the speaking engagement.
The symposium is free, but due to limited seating registration is required. Please register online at www.misericordia.edu/autismevent. For more information, please contact Rebecca LaPoint, administrative assistant, College of Health Sciences and Education at (570) 674-6441 or email@example.com.
Mr. Magro is a role model in the disabled community, regularly speaking at schools, businesses, parents groups, nonprofit organizations and other special events on topics ranging from disability, innovation, school bullying, power of communication, diversity, servant leadership and more.
Nonverbal until he was 2½ years old and diagnosed with autism at age 4, he overcame countless obstacles to become the well-known author, advocate and national speaker he is today. A master’s degree recipient in strategic communication from Seton Hall University and current doctoral candidate at New Jersey City University, Mr. Magro is the CEO and founder of KFM Making a Difference, a nonprofit organization that hosts inclusion events and has provided 60 collegiate scholarships for students with autism.
In addition, he hosts the Facebook page, “A Special Community,’’ that has more than 145,000 followers. A resident of Hoboken, N.J., he conducts on-camera interviews on his page to highlight people impacted by a diagnosis.
He travels the country to share his story and tell the autism community to define their lives and dreams the best way possible. Mr. Magro is the author of “Defining Autism from the Heart,’’ which chronicles his story and how he helps others overcome obstacles. In the book, he outlines how he overcame his former struggles with the
assistance of intense therapy and the love of many community members. He also discusses overcoming obstacles, being a self-advocate, reflecting on what is important and more.
“If you can’t be comfortable in your own skin than you can’t fully commit to your everyday life,’’ he wrote in the book that went to No. 1 on Amazon’s Best Seller List for Special Needs Parenting.
In his second book, “Autism and Falling in Love: To the One That Got Away,’’ Mr. Magro writes about being an adult on the autism spectrum and falling in love. By sharing his firsthand experience, the author opens readers to a new line of thinking while breaking down the barriers of ignorance between autism and love. The book also addresses social cues, empathy, communication patterns and more.
Mr. Magro also was a consultant for the 2012 movie, “Joyful Noise,’’ starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, which earned more than $30 million worldwide. He also consulted on the movies “Jane Wants a Boyfriend’’ and “Don’t Foil My Plans.’’ As an advocate for the autism community, he also has been featured by major media outlets, including CBS News, Inside Edition, Upworthy and Huffington Post.
The College of Health Sciences and Education at Misericordia University established the Autism Center in 2015 as a community resource for clinicians, practitioners, caregivers and students majoring in the health and medical sciences fields. The interprofessional collaboration enables the college to pool talent and faculty expertise in the fields of medical imaging, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, sonography, speech-language pathology and pre-professional programs.
Located in John J. Passan Hall and an adjacent building at 50 Lake St., the Autism Center is home to the Summer Sensory Social Camp, Autism Speaks U, Autism Lifelong Learning Program and Distinguished Speaker Series. Additionally, the Autism Center features a website at www.misericordia.edu/autism and several faculty members who have expertise caring for people on the autism spectrum.
For more information about the Autism Center at Misericordia University and the services it provides, please email the center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Information from Paul Krzywicki)