Kate Middleton Hugs Emotional Mom Of Autistic Teen At Place2Be Charity Event

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, threw her arms around a tearful mother at an event on Tuesday stating “I just had to do that as a mum.”

Kate showed comfort toward Ceri Knapton, who had begun sobbing while her 13-year-old son Ethan spoke with the Duchess about how he used his battle with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to raise awareness of the condition to help benefit others. The Mirror shares an account of the touching moment.

Ceri, from Preston Lancashire, said afterwards: “I vowed that I wouldn’t cry but was just overcome listening to Ethan.

“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.”

Kate was in attendance of the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House in London, while performing her role as a patron of the charity, which is the U.K.’s leading child mental health organization.

The Duchess looked divine in a black dress designed by Preen and black Pravda shoes to complement, accessorized with diamond earrings.

This marked the second of two events in one day, the first being a stop into the Natural History Museum. Place2Be gives children in-school support and training to improve pupils’ emotional well-being during their early stages of education.

Ethan was diagnosed only three years ago and has since used his experience to hold assemblies at his school, Fulwood Academy, about how the diagnosis has affected him and to raise awareness of the issue.

The teen spoke openly with Kate telling her how he had been bullied constantly in primary school because of the then-undiagnosed conditions that caused him to have problems concentrating and resulted in tics that made him shout out without being aware.

He said, “It was a very difficult time but my diagnosis helped me to cope with what I was experiencing. 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.”

The teen’s mother also shared with Middleton that “[i]t’s not been an easy few years but he makes me 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.”

Kate Middleton listened as Ethan told her that he has gone as far as to found a computer game club to help students experiencing similar trials, to find a place to relax. The teen works closely with staff to develop ideas to help other students.

Ethan has been nominated for a Young Person Champion Award and hopes to become a game designer or an astrologer. He shared words about how Place2Be has helped him cope with his condition.

“My confidence was low. I was bullied, I was pilloried at primary school. But Place2Be has helped me with counselling and coming to terms with things. And now I just want to help others.”

Kate Middleton also spoke to another pupil from Claremont Primary School in Manchester, Abdul Elashhab, who was presented with the Judges’ Special Award. The award recognized the eight-year-old’s ability to pull himself through a tough time in his life and he has now has become a mentor to other children experiencing similar obstacles. Abdul spoke about his surprise and excitement in getting the chance to meet Kate Middleton.

“I was so shocked to be invited to meet her. It’s a real honour.”

The Duchess, her husband Prince William, and his brother Prince Harry have all been instrumental in advocating for the support of individuals suffering from mental health issues. As the Daily Mail reported, the trio launched the Heads Together campaign which seeks to bring awareness and eradicate the negative stigma attached to mental illness.

[Featured Image by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images]

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