Nationally Recognized Disability Advocate Tells His Story At LaSalle University

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– A nationally recognized disability advocate was the keynote speaker at a conference on autism, at LaSalle University Tuesday, and the theme focused on the critical area of transition to adulthood.

Diagnosed with autism at four years old, the now 28-year-old Kerry Magro mentors people with autism and special needs from ages 5 to 56.

“Growing up I had no role models to look up to who are on the autism spectrum,” said Margo. “So, I decided to make most of my talks on the transition to adulthood, for those who have autism.”

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Modest as he is, Magro is now that guy, signing autographs after his presentation, he is a best-selling author of 3 books and a movie consultant on 2 films. He’s had nearly 700 speaking engagements about his journey.

Magro says it’s often a “crapshoot” for 18-year-olds with autism to find a job, post-secondary education or housing opportunities to live independently.

“The big thing is that these kids age out of school,” he said.

Conference co-chair Dr. Carole Patrylo, a LaSalle professor, says positive attitudes go a long way.

“Always, always look at their strengths,” said Patrylo. “Why do we look at weaknesses. I don’t like that word.”

Magro says people with autism have dreams like anyone else.

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