Home > Autism in the News > My Name is Kerry and I have PDD-NOS

My Name is Kerry and I have PDD-NOS

This guest post is by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro. Kerry, an adult who has autism, is a rising senior at Seton Hall University, majoring in Sports Management. He started the club Student Disability Awareness on campus to help spread awareness and raise funds for those affected by autism. Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events, while supporting their local autism communities.

My name is Kerry and I have Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified.

This means I have autism.

This does not mean I am autism.

This means I see the world sometimes in a different light.

This does not mean I’m in the dark.

This means from time to time I may have a difficulty expressing my emotions.

This does not mean I don’t feel.

This means when I communicate, I do it with a style that is my own.

This does not mean I don’t have a voice.

This means I may have sensitivity when it comes to a certain feel or touch.

This means sounds can sometimes make me feel uneasy.

This does not mean I’m deaf or hard of hearing.

This means I can often focus on certain interests for a long period of time.

This does not mean those are my only interests.

This means that I’m the only person in my family to have this.

This does not mean I’m alone.

This means I may have 500 other symptoms/capabilities that are different than yours.

This does not mean I’m any less of a person than you are.

My name is Kerry, and regardless of what PDD-NOS means or doesn’t mean, autism can’t define me, I define autism. I can only hope those individuals, regardless of being autistic or not can define their lives and their journeys in the way they see it.

*I wrote this about 6 months ago with my eyes closed and with an open heart. I believe we all need something; a symbol in some cases, to remind us of who we are and what we are striving to be. This is one article that has helped me immensely.  I plan on sharing this article with my school for World Autism Awareness Day along with an Autism Society of America Conference this Summer. You can also find this article here. Thank you.*

  1. margaret castro
    March 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Your words are inspiring to me as a mom. My son is 4 and is autistic. Many people in the field who have had contact with him says he has PDD. My son amazes me every day by doing things the autism label says he can’t or will never do. I see that you are the same. This validates the fact that I know my son will be ok, but as a mom I’m always going to worry. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a blessed and fulfilling life!

  2. Kari Walden
    March 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    My grand daughter is 3.5 yrs old. This is her exactly. Thank you so much for these words, it really touched a very special place in my heart. Especially for those who have but cannot always explain how they feel about PDD-NOS-AUTISM. You are a true inspiration!

  3. Suzanne
    March 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    It is as powerful today as when I first read it. You certainly are that symbol for many struggling around the country and the world today. The fact that you choose to do this is the most amazing part of it. I hope everyone Lights it Up Blue in your honor and all connected to this movement on World Autism Days April and April 2nd, 2011. Please ask President Obama for sure.!

    • linda cotton
      March 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      thank you kerry we need get this out in world

  4. JenK
    March 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you Kerry. My 5 year old son was diagnosed one year ago with PDD-NOS. You essay will be saved and will be a helpful tool when we talk to him about his rdifferences. I like your point/counterpoint format. So happy to see you succeeding in life and sharing some of it with us. Good luck in all you do.

  5. Brenda Merrill
    March 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Beautifully written. I have a 14 year old son with PDD-Nos. I will share this with him.

  6. Debra Maffeo
    March 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I want to thank you for writing this. My son, Shane is 11, dignosed with PDD-NOS himself. He amazes me with some of the things that he does that I would normally have a problem remembering or doing. Your words are true and to the point and they bring a light to knowing that my son will be okay when he does get into teenage/adult years. Thank you so much

  7. ellen sakowitz
    March 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    my son was finally diagnosed with aspergers. he is 26,and was in many special ed programs for learning disabilities.although he has made great strides in his life, he still has alot of difficulties with socialization. now that we/he knows what we are dealing with we can get all get the help we need. i guess what i am saying is ,NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!

    • Laurie Finn
      March 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Hello Ellen

      I have a 24 year old son who was diagnose PDD-NOS after being misdiagnosed and treated his whole life. You are the first person I have seen that has an adult child with ASD. Would you be interested in sharing some of your and/or your sons story? I’ve found no support anywhere I look, and nobody seems to be able to help him now at the stage he is at. Thank you. Laurie

  8. Tara Freehill
    March 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Kerry, i really appreciate your post. I also have a 4 year old with PDD-NOS. I sometimes worry about how things will be for him when he is an adult. As I was reading your post it gives me hope that he will be able to do whatever he puts his mind too. We try and treat him as normally as possible and encourage his special abilities. Life would be boring without him around! Thank you for your encouragement!

  9. Joel Rogina
    March 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Kerry: Thank you so much for your inspiring words and life. They ring so true to my wife and I, as we have a four year old son who was recently diagnosed with PDD-NOS. We both cried tears of inspiration through your beautifully articulated poetry. Thank you!

  10. Karen L
    March 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you for writing this Kerry. It brought tears to my eyes as I read this–as this is also my daughter’s diagnosis. This is well written and so like my daughter.

  11. Jodi Leonard
    March 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    My son will be 2 on March 10th and on Oct 2010 he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS as well and he does not really talk or eat regular food or feed himself. At some points itsfrustrating but he has made some improvements. He is the best joy that has ever happened to me and there is nothing that would change this feeling. He is a very happy, loving, and out going child. Reading your story has given me hope that he can make great progress and do alot in this world. I also want to say keep up everything that you are doing cause its a great insperastion to parents like me. Thank you, Jodi Leonard

  12. Jennifer Quirk
    March 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    As I was reading this, I started feeling chills. The good kind of chills that let your brain know something wonderful is going on. My son, now 5 years old, was diagnosed with PDD-NOS 3 years ago. I struggle everyday trying to keep him on the right track, so he too, can one day be something great. I can only imagine how hard it is for him and every other child or adult who sees things with this light. Reading this has given me more hope for his future and to just fight harder to help him succeed.

  13. ziggy
    March 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you so much for your post. My 12 year old son was diagnosed PDD-NOS when he was 3. He has come such a long way since that diagnosis. And to all the moms above with newly diagnosed kids, it gets better, just have patience and pray. I can’t image Nick being anything but himself. He brings a smile to my face every day.

  14. pat
    March 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you Kerry…I know my grandchild is on the right track.

  15. Patty Barnish
    March 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Way to go Kerry! My son Kyle was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when he was 3.5. You are such an inspiration! Keep up the good work!

  16. Heather
    March 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Wow…I have a 6yr old son diagnosed with PDD NOS. I always say he may be a “special needs child” but he is my child, my special child with a special mind! Your words are inspirational and I hope one day share them with my son. This site is very interesting to me as here in Arizona although PDD NOS is on the spectrum it does not qualify him for any Autism services. Hopefully as this disorder gets more recognition that will change.

  17. Donna Pennington
    March 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Our 31 month old grandson has recently been diagnosed with Pdd-Nos. We are thankful for the Early Intervention Program in our community (Lubbock, TX). His progress has been remarkable. We NEED to make sure funding continues to help our kids. It is also important that education and public awareness be a constant goal for those of us that are touched by Autism. Thank you for your contributions to Autism Awareness.

  18. Connie
    March 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Kerry! Everyone reading your posting should be inspired by all that you do! Our son, Chris, was diagnosed PDD – Asperger’s Syndrome when he was 5. Chris is now a Freshman at The College of New Jersey. Thank you for all that you are doing to spread the word.

  19. Kendra
    March 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Kerry you are a true gift to the world! My twin sons (7 years old) are living with PDD-NOS and ADHD. One of them is currently struggling with expressing himself and emotions. You words helped me so much and a
    I am grateful that you shared this. It helps me understand my own children even more! Thank you.

  20. Courtney
    March 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this. My son was dianosed with PDD-NOS this year. So many people are confused by how differently he sees things or responds. I am not only saving this for him,but i believe I will also share it with friends and family members. This brought tears to my eyes. I am also so inspired to see how far you have come as an adult and hope for similar success for my son.

  21. Christina
    March 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Kerry! You are clearly an amazing person, just like my daughter who is currently awaiting clarification of if she is Asperger’s or Pdd-Nos. Keep up the great work!

  22. Jocelyn
    March 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you Kerry for giving me hope that we will make it through the challenging times we have and come out on the other side with a positive outcome for the future. I wish my son could meet you. You are an inspiration!

  23. linda cotton
    March 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    thank u 4 let people know about autism i got son is autism we need get it out let people know what autism is

  24. March 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing who you are. Your words are heart felt. I am a very proud mom of a very gifted 8 year old son. His challenges with Autism have become his amazing gift and strengths that we are so blessed with. His story, like yours, is that a world has opened that has brought him even closer to us. God bless you.

  25. Patrick
    March 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm


    Thank you so much for your post. I have read some of your other posts and admire you tremendously. I have two boys with ASD (3 and 5). As any father, I worry about their future everyday. Thank you for expressing your feelings and helping me understand what they may not be able to articulate. I feel like God is working in them everyday and your posts give me even more encouragement.


  26. anna grym
    March 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I have a son with Pdd-NOS….
    This does not define me
    My son has special needs
    this does not define him
    Autism has touched my life…my family
    This does not mean we are autism…
    We are strong, we are loving, we care…
    and we have hope!
    Thank you for being you and sharing a piece of you with us!

  27. tania turner
    March 9, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Hello Kerry, am a mother of a now 17 yr old boy with Higher Functioning Autisim. Your words couldnt have said it any better…Was the hardest thing to detect as an early child,and i was always being told my child was a rebel or rude, but by the time he was 12 we finally knew just how amazing he really is. Over 17 yrs there has been so many ups and downs but we have got through most of it and now im looking forward to watching him grow into a young man and understand what it means to be him and why life is a little different for him at times… i have always made him very independant and always tried to never treat him as tho he was any different to anyone else,, hahah now i trust him and his decisions completely, and he handles most situations incredibly well,, but some still need my help in understanding.. they are amazing people really and have got an inteligence beyond how some think,,, with an incredible lodgic… but we are still up against some hurdles yet, and im ready to take that journey with my son.
    Your beautiful poem was written about my son because you couldnt have described him better.. thankyou….

  28. Desirae Flores
    July 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing. You brought tears of joy to my eyes!!! This made my day!

  29. Niecy
    September 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you Kerry for helping me to understand my seven year old son who also has PDD NOS.

  30. Liz
    November 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you Kerry for sharing your wisdom and insight and all the others who have written in and shared. Our 6 year old son, an only child, has a similar diagnosis and every day we are amazed at the things he creates, remembers and talks about. We feel very humbled to have been blessed with being the parents of such an amazing person. As his mother, I had similar issues which were never diagnosed way back then, and based on how I am now, I absolutely know that he is going to be fine.

  31. March 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

    My son was just recently diagonosed with PDD-NOS and I still have a hard time understanding it; however, the nurse that is assisting my 5 yr old son suggest that we put in in therapy 4 days a week and in these times it’s hard when both my wife and I have to work to survive, I just don’t know which way to go with this situation, I beieve deep down in my heart and after reading your story and thoughts I know my son will be fine and all we have to do is continue praying and believing there is nothing impossible for God to handle. Thank you for helping me understand and now I know what to look forward to in my son’s future. God Bless all who have family members with children dealing with PDD-NOS.

  1. March 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm
  2. March 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm
  3. March 28, 2011 at 10:59 am

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