Autism is a neurological disorder that affects information processing in the brain. The disorder affects about 1 in 59 children and according to autismspeaks.org, boys are nearly four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it. Most children can be diagnosed after age four, but it’s often diagnosed as early as age 2. Some are nonverbal, some are extremely intelligent and some are amazingly talented in the arts. In all categories, it’s something that affects every ethnic and socioeconomic group.
Toni Braxton‘s son Diezel (born 2003), for example, was diagnosed with autism in 2006. Braxton once said that she believed her son’s disability was God’s way of punishing her for having an abortion in 2001.
“When my youngest son was diagnosed with autism I feared that I was being punished for my earlier actions,” she said. “I have since realized that my son is special and learns in a different way.”
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Learning in a different way was the case for people like Bill Gates and Andy Warhol who, too, had symptoms associated with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. And there are a number of other celebrities who actually have children with autism.
“The one thing that we know that everyone can agree on: Early intervention is key,” Holly Robinson Peete, whose son R.J. was diagnosed at age 3, once told Yahoo! Lifestyle. R.J. stopped talking, responding to his name and making eye contact at age two; Peete sought a doctor when he started flapping his hands and flicking his ears repetitively. Early recognition and therapy helped him regain engagement.
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Check out a list of celebrities with autistic children below…