Summerfield, NC -- A local mom has earned national recognition for her method of helping her daughter fight autism.
Virginia Kassay took up painting just three years ago in her late thirties.
She discovered her daughter emily found it easier to learn through the abstract.
Emily has autism, a disorder that impairs social interaction and communication.
Seventy paintings later, mom says Emily has improved from severe to mild autism.
"I just want Emily to become whatever it is that she can become. But I took it upon myself when she was diagnosed at 19-months-old to make sure that I would give here the best childhood she could have, that she could develop not normally, but as normal as I possibly could get her," Kassay said.
The battery maker Energizer named Virginia Kassay one of 100 semifinalists for its "Keep Going" Hall of Fame.
The award recognizes parents with determination and comes with a $10,000 cash prize.