Autism Awareness & Acceptance

World Autism Awareness Day is a time to recognize and celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of individuals on the autism spectrum.

It’s also an opportunity to shed light on the challenges and triumphs faced by families affected by autism.

In the realm of celebrities, many have used their platform to raise awareness and share their personal experiences of parenting children with autism.

Here are five celebrities who have not only navigated the world of fame but have also become advocates for autism awareness through their journeys:

Holly Robinson Peete

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Actress and philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete has been a vocal advocate for autism awareness since her son Rodney Jr. was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.

Alongside her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, she co-founded the HollyRod Foundation, which provides support and resources for families affected by autism and Parkinson’s disease.

On World Autism Day, Holly took to social media writing:

It’s World Autism Awareness day!! 💙💙💙💙

24 years ago when we were given a diagnosis that would change the trajectory of our lives, a woman was in the doctors waiting room and told me that autism would become a blessing in my life.

I didn’t want to hear that then. I was gutted and scared. But the blessing is this young man who fills my soul every day with pride and so much love. 🥹🥹🥹YOU ARE A BLESSING, RJ PEETE!!!

Sending love and encouragement, out to anyone impacted by any form of autism! Stay positive. Roll up your sleeves. Pray. Fight. Stay proactive. Love. Advocate. Be empathetic towards ignorance.

See her original post below.

Tisha Campbell

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Best known for her roles in TV shows like “Martin” and “My Wife and Kids,” Tisha Campbell has spoken openly about her eldest son Xen’s autism diagnosis.

She has used her platform to raise awareness about autism in the black community and has been involved in various advocacy efforts.

In 2020, Tisha spoke with Essence about how an early diagnosis really helped Xen.

Xen says that he’s not autistic anymore. This is my baby’s reality.

Just so I can give you a perspective, Xen was non-verbal; he would flap his arms and rock back and forth.

He’s never been in a special needs class because I wanted him to model after typical kids and now he’s a typical kid.

He has a girlfriend and he is now speaking; you can’t shut him up.

He says, ‘I used to be autistic and don’t be telling my girlfriend I used to be autistic either.’

So I’m blessed because we were able to catch it early.

Toni Braxton

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Grammy-winning singer Toni Braxton has been candid about her youngest son Diezel’s autism diagnosis.

She has shared her experiences of navigating the challenges of raising a child with autism while balancing her career in the spotlight.

Braxton has also been involved in autism advocacy initiatives, including fundraising events and awareness campaigns.

In 2020, Toni Braxton shared that her son is no longer autistic.

My youngest son, as everyone knows, my son Diezel suffers from – or I should say suffered from autism,” she said. “He has no signs of autism.”

The Grammy Award-winning singer says she’s “one of the lucky parents” because Diesel “is off the spectrum.” 

Diezel Lewis recently celebrated his 21st birthday.

D.L. Hughley

D.L. Hughley and son, Kyle Hughley via Instagram

Comedian and actor D.L. Hughley has openly discussed his son Kyle’s Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism.

He has used his platform to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about autism, advocating for greater awareness and understanding.

Watch below as D.L. praises Kyle, who he considers a fine example of a man.

Fat Joe

Fat Joe and son Joey via Instagram

Rapper Fat Joe says that having a son with Autism has had a profound impact on his life and calls the day that his son Joey was born, “The Best Day Ever.”

This experience has molded Fat Joe into the loving father and citizen of the people he is today, and he’s on a mission to bring awareness and acceptance of Autism to the masses.

In 2023, he partnered with Lexus to create the short film, “The Best Day Ever”.

These celebrities exemplify the power of using one’s platform for positive change.

By sharing their personal experiences and advocating for autism awareness, they have helped to break down stigma, increase understanding, and provide support for families affected by autism.

On this World Autism Awareness Day, let us celebrate their contributions and continue to work towards a more inclusive and accepting society for individuals of all abilities.

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