Kerry Margo was told he would never graduate high school but he did and also received a doctorate.
Kerry Magro was two years old when he was diagnosed with autism. He felt isolated and found it difficult to be around others. Magro grew up being told what he could not do, what he could not achieve, and how his life would be. It was also a time when there was not widespread information on autism, which made it harder to navigate life. He found the world very confusing. Magro didn't speak until the age of three and his parents were told by doctors that he would never graduate from high school. His family was also told that he wouldn't have a "normal" life. Not only did Kerry Magro make it through high school, but he also received his doctorate degree. At the age of 31, Margo has published a book of his own—I Will Light It Up Blue. It tells the story of a set of twins at different ends of the autism spectrum. Magro pours his own personal experience into the book as well as what he has seen and learned through the years.
Magro was always determined to cross the boundaries and exceed the limits pre-determined for him. He wanted to be the role model that others weren't for him. He wants to inspire other autistic kids and let them know they are more capable than what society keeps telling them. "Seeing someone in the media like myself growing up would have made a tremendous difference,” Kerry told Today. “It would have given me more self-motivation seeing that I wasn’t alone.” Sesame Street created Julia, the first autistic character, and that helped those with autism to feel more accepted and also helped others to accept those diagnosed with autism. Similarly, Magro wants his work to have characters that can help start conversations on autism among children, parents, and educators.
The book tells the story of twins Doug and Emma, both of whom are autistic. Doug is high functioning but his sister is nonverbal and uses an iPad to communicate. He also made it to a point to have two characters with different genders and personalities in the book. “I wanted to focus on a boy character and a girl character—even though boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism,” said Kerry. “I wanted to share the characteristics of a girl with autism in the hopes that people can recognize a girl who shows signs of autism and make sure she doesn’t fall through the cracks.” The title of the book—I Will Light It Up Blue—was inspired by World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.
The description of the book reads: Doug and Emma are twins on the autism spectrum. With the help of their family’s unconditional love, they learn about an initiative that changes their lives forever. Will you Light It Up Blue? Will you wear blue too? Kerry Magro shows how the twins help themselves while the book also helps educate others about autism. The book is mainly aimed at acceptance. “The biggest motivator was to show how to be accepting of someone who is a little bit different. If we are truly trying to be a society that focuses on inclusion, we have to make sure we are representing the community as it truly is,” said Margo.