Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

World Autism Day 2024: How These Celebrities Use Their Star Power to Raise Autism Awareness | News

In honor of World Autism Day, we're featuring some of our favorite celebrities who are parents of autistic children to raise awareness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which symptoms typically appear in the first two years of life.

Autism spectrum disorder affects the way people interact, communicate, learn and behave with others.

In 2023, the CDC reported that Black and Latino children were diagnosed at higher rates than white children for the first time, while in 2020, one in 36 eight-year-old children was diagnosed with ASD.

RELATED: Autism: What you need to know

Although there is no cure for ASD, it can be treated with therapies that focus on communication through promoting social skills.

Medications are also a treatment option, but according to the Mayo Hill Clinic, they “cannot improve the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, but certain medications can help control symptoms.”

However, with proper treatment, people with this condition can live bright and healthy lives.

Here are celebrities from our community raising awareness to combat stigma in the autistic community.

  • Tony Braxton

    In 2007, the “Unbreak My Heart” singer discovered her son, Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis had autism. Still, the R&B singer would face challenges in the medical industry to provide her son with proper healthcare.

    “They fired me,” Diezel’s medical team told PEOPLE. “I don't know if it would have made a difference if the diagnosis had been made earlier, but they had a wait-and-see attitude. It makes me so angry because a mother knows when something is wrong with her child.” “

    Over time, Diezel's condition improved and the Grammy winner announced that he was no longer autistic.

    “My youngest son – everyone knows – my son Diezel suffers from – or I should say suffered from autism,” she explained to Access Hollywood in 2020. “I'm one of the lucky parents. An early diagnosis changes everything. I'll tell you this. I'll shout it from the rooftops. My son Diezel is off the spectrum.

    She also praised the co-founder of Autism Speaks Suzanne Wright for an improvement in Diezel's health. “When she found out about my son and I, she immediately called me and said, ‘Admit him to this program. Do this, do that.' She helped me so much,” she said of Wright, who died in 2016, according to NBC.

    After Diezel's breakthrough, Toni said: “He is our social butterfly. He’s the one who plays with friends and hangs out all the time.”

    She added: “Very, very happy. And I don't like to think there's anything wrong with our babies. I just think they learn differently.”

  • Holly Robinson Peete

    When Holly Robinson Peete and her husband Rodney Peetes Son, Rodney Peete Jr.When she was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, it would change her life. With few resources to support her on her new journey, Holly decided to share PJ's medical diagnosis with the world, but Rodney refused, fearing it would “label” and “limit” his options in life ” would.

    Still, she persisted in giving hope to others in similar situations.

    “I was just the opposite, saying we need to talk about this because we have this platform to talk about autism and reach so many others,” she told PEOPLE.

    When PJ was a child, Holly also talked about her parenting techniques.

    “We never thought about sending him away. I decided to take a proactive, crazy mom approach. …We are very goal-oriented. At 6 years old, our biggest goal for him was to carry a conversation from start to finish. I'd say, “Hello,” and RJ would say, “Hello, Mom.” How are you?' I’d say, ‘I’m fine, are you?’ and he’d say, ‘I’m fine too.’ Now RJ sets goals for himself.”

    “It's been a long road and the journey is far from over,” adding, “I'm just so proud of my boy.”

    Now, at age 25, PJ is living his baseball dreams as an employee of the LA Dodgers.

    “The fact that they hired my son, they hired inclusively, a young man with autism who they gave a chance and he's been here for eight years. It was a godsend,” she told the outlet. “That’s why I love this team with all my heart.”

    “He had no friends growing up,” she continued. “He just has a whole family around him, apart from his immediate family, supporting him. And he’s here like an ambassador, you know, like he is.” Mr. Roarke of Dodger Stadium.”

  • Shawn Stockman

    Shawn Stockman and his wife Sharhonda I have a family of five: a daughter and two older twins, 20, including a son Micahwho was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.

    To raise awareness of the disease, Shawn and Sharhonda founded Micha's Voice, a nonprofit organization that provides support and resources to families with autistic children.

    In 2021 the Boyz II men The singer wrote in a blog post on the company's website: “Autism has been THE biggest challenge I have ever faced.” “But with every small step forward and every small victory, there remains a residue of accomplishment and a sense of value and purpose back.”

    At that time, the foundation entered into a partnership with the watch brand SEVENFRIDAY for a charitable collaboration, the proceeds of which would benefit families in need.

    “Life is hard,” Stockman continued in the blog post, “but it sure is nice to know that there are others on this earth who are willing and able to help make life a little better. “

    This year, he told TMZ about the inspiration behind the collaboration.

    “This watch is different from all others [watch] You could have, because when you look down on it, you're not just looking at the smiley face on it that represents the Micah's Voice logo, but you can look down and say that you actually helped someone, he explained to the outlet . “It’s not self-satisfying like most watches. The money goes directly towards supporting families in their child’s development and managing this journey known as autism.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: