6 Celebrities Who Have Children With Autism

Jacqueline Laurita

Yesterday Jacqueline Laurita of The Real Housewives of New Jersey announced the heartbreaking news that her 3-year-old son, Nicholas, has been diagnosed with autism. It was a big shock to fans to know that someone we watch week after week has been dealt this challenge, but it's a challenge that that thousands of other parents -- both those onscreen and off -- deal with each and every day.

While Jacqueline could have chosen to keep his diagnosis private, I'm glad to see that she is being so open about it. Autism knows no racial or economic boundaries, and it doesn't care if you're a Real Housewife or a REAL housewife. Understanding and greater awareness are vital to those affected by the disorder, and it's wonderful when people can use their fame to generate them. Here are five other celebrities whose children are also on the autism spectrum and have been open about their journey.

Image via Bravo

  • Sylvester Stallone

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    Image via operazzi photos/Flickr 

     

    Sylvester's son Seargeoh Stallone has autism and is currently 33. Sly has done much work over the years to raise awareness including this PSA from 1990.

  • Jenny McCarthy

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    Image via Stevendepolo/Flickr

    Jenny's son Evan was diagnosed with autism in 2005, and she believes he has since recovered from it. She has been an outspoken and controversial advocate against vaccines and is an activist for Generation Rescue foundation.

  • Holly Robinson Peete

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    Image via Autism File

     

    Holly's son Rodney Peete has autism, and she has been an outspoken advocate for autism research and understanding for years. Most recently she took rapper 50 Cent to task when he tweeted a cruel slur about autism.

  • Toni Braxton

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    Image via istolethetv/Flickr

    Toni's son Diezel was diagnosed with autism when he was 3, and she has been open about their journey over the past five years. She strongly believes in the importance early diagnosis.

  • Dan Marino

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    Image via rubendn/Flickr

     

    The football great's son Michael was diagnosed with autism at age 2. In 1998 Dan and his wife Claire built the Dan Marino Center at the Miami Children's Hospital, which specializes in treatment children with autism and other developmental disorders.

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