Local mom hopes to spread awareness about Autism


“A journey, is kind of how I normally talk about it,” Sam Knighting said.

Meet Bella and her mom Sam.

The journey they’re on is a bit different from typical travel.

At a young age, Bella didn’t take a liking to going into the store or to most restaurants.

“School became a small issue with some learning disabilities and things like that,” Knighting explained.

Sam said her daughter also had trouble communicating, and these signs led to occupational therapy and eventually testing for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

As different tests and therapies continue her mom said a good way to describe Bella, “It’s not a different mind, it’s a different operating system. So the world might be running on iPhone, but she’s Android.”

Landmarks across the country lit up blue on Monday to kick off Autism Awareness Month,  but Knighting says, “I like to point out that there is some pink in the blue. The autism world is mostly boys.”

According to Autism Speaks, 1 in 68 children have Autism Spectrum Disorder. More specifically, 1 in 42 boys, and 1 in 189 girls.

Knighting added, “so even if we don’t get that diagnosis of Autism, I want people to know, hey, girls are a little different. By the time we get home from school, we’re going to have to veg. When I say that, I mean headphones on, world off.”

It’s perhaps a different routine than most 10-year-old kids, but it doesn’t stop Bella from doing what she loves to do.

“Because of her passion, she wants to succeed.”

Sam said Bella’s been through about eight years of visits to doctors, speech therapists and  neuropsychologists.

At one point, they chose to just give her a break, and see how she gets by.

Knighting said at the end of the day, it’s not necessarily the diagnosis she’s searching for, it’s moreso for the best way to approach Bella’s lifestyle.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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