National Speaker with Autism Talks ‘Falling In Love’ in New Book
Kerry Magro is an award winning national speaker who is on the autism spectrum. Kerry in July 2013 came out with his debut book ‘Defining Autism From The Heart’ which became an Amazon bestseller for Special Need Parenting. We sat down with Kerry to discuss the release of his new book ‘Autism and Falling in Love: The One That Got Away,’…
Thanks so much for your time today Kerry! Can you tell us a little bit about ‘Autism and Falling in Love’?
Autism and Falling in Love is a first hand look into my life of being in love on the autism spectrum. The main theme of the book is looking into what I’ve been able to learn from my past relationships along with practical tips to help those on the spectrum succeed when it comes to finding a partner.
What was your inspiration behind writing the book?
I’ve been writing for the past few years on autism and relationships in the hopes of one day writing a book on my experiences. My inspiration for having the book come out now was based on a previous relationship I had (aka The One That Got Away which is the subtitle for my book). As much as the book is focused on self-help it’s also focused on sharing a letter on learning from mistakes I’ve had in previous relationships to help the reader better understand the perspectives of adults with autism in love.
I wrote a shorter letter similar to what you’ll see in the book on a website called The Mighty about this experience with my ex. It was very well received within the autism community but one comment that made me cringed was when a high school student shared the post and said this is why they will never be in a relationship because of the thought of hurting and being hurt by their partner. Situations like these I see far too common today. I hope to help educate and inspire hope that with work, relationships are possible for those within our autism community.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have seen today for those with autism when it comes to relationships?
Most of it has to do with how to understand your other partner’s perspective. Many of us expect our partners to know exactly what we want and what their needs are. With that I believe the biggest challenge comes down to communication. I think sometimes people don’t understand the challenges that some with autism go through when it comes to that understand. The more open the communication is on both sides the better the relationship will be.
Another challenge I see is people giving up on a relationship they have with someone on the spectrum too quickly. What I think sets aside those with autism versus others is there ability to take criticism and feel guilt when they make a mistake. Many on the spectrum I think are misunderstood especially when they don’t understand sometimes what they are doing wrong in a relationship. I wrote a blog about this at Autism Speaks in 2010 about my personal experiences with a term called ‘mind blindness’ which is not being able to see things from other’s perspectives. This is why when I hear about people giving up on relationships I believe those on the spectrum in most cases deserve a second shot. What some with autism lack in empathy and understanding make up for in authenticity and sincerity especially when it comes to learning from mistakes and seeking help on becoming better partners.
What would be your main advice for an individual with autism who’s trying to get in a relationship?
My best advice I could give is to take your time. Ideally, the best relationships are the ones you can share key interests with so try to make that a part of your criteria. Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out there and date. Websites like wrongplanet.net are a great way to start meeting others on the spectrum online for those looking for a place to start. I’d also recommend online dating sites like eHarmony, OkCupid, Match.com, etc. Face to face communication can be difficult for many on the spectrum but having this medium can make the transition to dating easier.
When should we expect the book? Can you tell us what’s next for you?
The book is set to come out on Amazon on Dec 15. Along with the book I am continuing my work as a national speaker speaking at different events around the country. On December 13th I’ll be volunteering as Santa Claus at Santa’s Elf Factory in Jersey City, New Jersey where will be raising money for scholarships for students with autism to attend college. If you will be in the area or would like to make a donation to the cause you can find more information about the event here. We are very excited for the book, the holiday season, and a great 2015!