Wilson raises autism awareness with other children

 Reigning National American Miss Princess, Mia Bella Wilson, read "My Friend With Autism" to an East Side Kindergarten class recently.
Staff Writer

National American Miss Princess Mia Bella Wilson is putting her tiara to good use by reading to kindergarten classes at East Side Elementary during the school year.

During a recent visit she read "My Friend With Autism."

Wilson has a passion for helping others to understand more about how to be friends with someone with autism. With April being Autism Awareness Month, Mia Wilson wants to do all she can to educate people about autism.

"She loved reading to the kindergarten children at East Side," Michelle Wilson, mother of Mia, said. "She will be going back to read to another class soon. Mia is seven so she was a few years older than the kindergarteners."

Wilson said the kindergarten students hugged Mia and asked her questions. They all wanted to see her tiara.

"She held it for them to look at," Wilson said. "They all seemed very excited to have her there."

Mia Wilson said she thought they had never had another little kid come and read to them.

"Talking to people about Autism is what Mia wants to do," Wilson said. "Our son Noah is autistic and Mia loves him. She wants people to understand that he is just a sweet four-year-old boy. She connects with other children and it means a lot coming from her that people with Autism are different and that that's ok."

Mia Wilson loves the saying that "It's OK to be different." So much so that she is selling T-shirts that carry that message.

"We wanted a design that was simple but carried the message," Wilson said. "I was talking with Noah's therapist and teachers at the Golden Triangle Autism Center and they suggested the school of fish with one going its on way. That was perfect."

All the proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will be donated to the GTAC.

"I love those people," Wilson said. "Noah was non-verbal when he started going there. Now he is a chatterbox. He had begun pulling away from me and running. They have been working with him and now he waits for me, he doesn't pull away and I don't have to worry as much."

Noah began going to the GTAC when he was two and a half years old. Now he is four and according to Wilson, the change in him is remarkable.

"I cannot say enough about the staff at GTAC," Wilson said. "And we want to continue to support them all we can."

The deadline to order shirts is Monday, March 18, they are $15. For more information call 304-281-6301.