This guest post is by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro, a motivational speaker and best-selling author who’s on the autism spectrum. You can learn more about Kerry on Facebook and Twitter. This blog originally appeared here.
Dear Demi Lovato,
A few months ago, I was listening to Z100 and they mentioned one of your recent performances where you kept saying the words “I am enough” right before you went onstage. You may not have ever expected anyone to overhear you, but I’m glad that many of us did…
You see, when I was 5, a year after I was diagnosed with autism, my parents thought I may have an emotional disorder. I was lashing out because of my communication delays. My parents then decided to focus on positive reinforcement while I worked through my therapies. For me, my positive reinforcements, along with my parents’ unconditional love, are what gave me the confidence to succeed whether it be in school, therapy, you name it.
When you said those words “I am enough,” it reminded me so much of my personal journey. When I was bullied as a child and having difficulties with my speech I often though that I wasn’t enough. As I grew up though, I realized that the challenges you face don’t make you any less. They just help shape you along the road you are traveling on.
I was always enough and when I realized that, it was an overpowering feeling.
That’s what I try to tell the people I mentor. We all have those things in our lives that we excel at, and if we utilize them, we can do remarkable things. We also - even if we sometimes don’t want to admit it - have those moments when we think we can’t do something.
It was a refreshing reminder when I turned on the radio that day and heard your story. After I read more about your journey, I learned that you are a champion for those with bipolar disorder and mental illness. Several people in my community struggle with autism along with a bipolar disorder and your willingness to be a spokesperson for the latter means the world. Your music has given a platform for you to touch the world through your songs, but also with your heart as a reminder that great things are possible.
It gives people such as myself a great deal of hope. We all need someone out there to remind us from time to time that we are capable of doing amazing things.
Thanks for being one of our reminders…
Your friend, Kerry