Moving moment Kate Middleton hugs crying mum of autistic boy

LONDON — The Duchess of Cambridge hugged a mother who started crying when her son told the royal about his struggle with autism and Asperger syndrome at an awards ceremony.

 

The Duchess put her arms around Ceri Knapton from Preston, Lancashire, who was in tears after her 13-year-old son Ethan had opened up about his conditions at the event for children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

 

“The Duchess just leant over and said to me “I’ve got to give you a hug as a mum.” I couldn’t believe it, it was such a kind gesture,” Knapton told the MailOnline after the encounter.

Ethan — who was diagnosed three years ago — told the Duchess that he was badly bullied at primary school because of symptoms of his then-undiagnosed conditions.

The Duchess of Cambridge comforts Ceri Knapton, who joins her son Ethan Knapton from Forward Academy, as she attends the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House in London.

The Duchess of Cambridge comforts Ceri Knapton, who joins her son Ethan Knapton from Forward Academy, as she attends the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House in London.

IMAGE: EAMONN M. MCCORMACK/PA WIRE

“It was a very difficult time but my diagnosis helped me to cope with what I was experiencing,” Ethan told the Duchess.

 

“I decided that I wanted to speak out about it. There is no point in sitting back. I’d rather stand up and make a difference,” Ethan continued.

His mother told Kate that it hadn’t been an easy few years, but that her son makes her feel “so proud.”
“His autism and Asperger’s aren’t labels, but an explanation of what makes Ethan the boy he is. The fact that he wants to use that to benefit others less able to speak out is just amazing,” Knapton told the Duchess.

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