'She's evolving as an artist, growing as an artist'

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- April is Autism Awareness Month, and KPIC News spoke with a Roseburg woman who's Autistic daughter has thrived.

Kim Miller is, at heart, an artist.

But before she found her passion in artwork, her mom Eileen says that she struggled with her Autism. "Our lives were kind of turned upside down because she was born into the family and she brought this new and unknown culture with her," she said.

Kim was non-verbal as a young child, and Eileen says she and her husband didn't understand her sudden changes in mood.

But when Kim found art, she was hooked.

Better than that: she was able to communicate.

Now, Kim is a thriving artist who has had her work featured in galleries, and she has even sold several pieces.

"She's evolving as an artist, growing as an artist," Eileen said. "She's doing a great job."

Eileen says that understanding is key for any parent with an Autistic child.

She advises not only educating yourself, but those around you so the people in your child's life can be more understanding of their needs. "Autism is a long journey in the first place," she said. "So, if we can accept our child for who they are in the first place, we can play up the strengths that the child has and support those strengths."

Together with her mother, Kim has written several books on their experiences with Autism.

You can learn more about Kim's art and her story by visiting her Web site.