The Amazing Lives of 11 Celebrities With Special Needs Kids
Celebrities with special needs kids face many challenges and joys in their parenting journey. Raising a child with special needs can be tough, but also rewarding. Some famous parents share their stories and insights on how their special kids enrich their lives and teach them valuable lessons.
1. Robert De Niro has a son with autism.
Robert De Niro The legendary actor is one of the celebrities with special needs kids. He and Grace Hightower have a son with autism, Elliot, and they like to keep his life private. But in 2016, they revealed his diagnosis and advocated for more research and awareness on the causes of autism. De Niro says, “I don’t like to get emotional, but I know exactly what he goes through.”
Hightower and De Niro were determined to provide their son with a place where he could be appreciated and be himself, and tennis proved to be that place. “It has helped him socially to be more confident when he sees that he’s actually good at this,” De Niro explained while speaking about his son’s involvement in tennis. “He’s going to feel better about himself, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”
2. Caterina Scorsone has a daughter with Down syndrome.
The second celebrity with a special needs kid is the Canadian-born Grey’s Anatomy star. She has a cute baby daughter named Paloma that is always present in the 39-year-old actress’ social media feed. Paloma was born with Down syndrome and since her birth in 2016, Caterina has become a prominent voice on social media for raising awareness about the condition.
In her interviews Caterina makes powerful statements about her daughter. She says: “Pippa is different. So are you and so am I. Pippa has needs that are specific to the way her body was made. I have needs that are specific to the way my body was made. We all do.” She confesses that she was scared at the beginning, as she didn’t know anything about this condition, but later she felt that Pippa’s difference lit a match in her life and in the life of her family.
3. Amanda Booth has a son with Down syndrome and autism
Model, mom, and advocate Amanda Booth has been working to make a much-needed change in the Model and mom Amanda Booth is one of the celebrities with special needs kids who is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the media and fashion industries. Her son Micah has Down syndrome and autism, and he inspires her to challenge the stereotypes and norms. She says, “I started to notice when I would go out for things for work, that there would be babies at castings all the time. And I was like, ’Why isn’t anybody asking for my baby at these castings?’” She decided to change that and showcase her son’s beauty and personality.
She also praises Micah’s gift of sensing kindness in people and spreading it around. She calls him a barometer that brings out the kindness in everyone when he walks into a room. She also educates others about her son’s condition and behavior, and she welcomes any questions or curiosity. She says she is ready to explain why her kid is stimming or not behaving not like anybody else, and she does it willingly and for everyone who is interested.
4. Denise Richards has a daughter with a rare genetic condition.
Another celebrity with a special needs kid is Denise Richards. She adopted Eloise when she was a baby and later found out that she had a rare genetic condition that affected her development. Eloise had delays in sitting up and walking, and Denise is unsure if she will ever speak normally. But Denise stays hopeful and positive. She says, “As a parent, you want what’s best for your children, and you just do it.” Now Eloise is 11 years old and enjoys life with her “sweet little angel” smile.
5. Sylvester Stallone has a son with autism.
Sylvester Stallone is a celebrity with a special needs kid who is famous for his role as Rocky: a strong man with a big heart. His son Seargeoh has autism and was diagnosed when he was a baby. Stallone said this about his son; “We have to accept Seargeoh the way he is and understand that his way is just quieter and reserved.” Seargeoh played Rocky’s newborn son in Rocky 2.
6. Katie Price has a son with autism, blindness, and Prader-Willi Syndrome.
Model and mom Katie Price is another celebrity with a special needs kid who inspires many people. Her son Harvey has autism, blindness, and Prader-Willi Syndrome, a condition that makes him always hungry and prone to obesity and diabetes.
But Katie has been facing all the challenges and difficulties with her son, and now she shares her love for him on her Instagram: “I’ve watched you grow into a handsome man. My Harvey bear I love you, and wouldn’t change you for the world.”
7. John McGinley has a son with Down syndrome.
Actor John McGinley is a celebrity with a special needs kid who is also an advocate for diversity and inclusion. His son Max has Down syndrome, and John is actively involved in raising awareness and supporting people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. He received an award in 2011 for his advocacy work.
He says having a special needs child was hard at first, but he learned to do something for his son’s life: “The first couple of months, it felt like we’d been hit over the head with some kind of cosmic hammer... And sooner or later you have to do something, you have to pick some aggressive verb about what you’re gonna do for this life. For Max. ’You gotta do something for me, get over your stuff, dad, I’m here.’”
8. Colin Farrell has a son wit a rare genetic condition.
Hollywood’s bad boy Colin Farrell is also a celebrity with a special needs kid who has a rare genetic condition. His son James has Angelman Syndrome, which affects his movements and speech. Colin is a supporter of the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome and says, “When you’re the parent of a child with special needs, it’s important to feel that you are not alone.” That’s why he joined the foundation and helps other families.**
9. Christopher Gorham has a son with Asperger’s syndrome.
Ugly Betty star Christopher Gorham is a celebrity with a special needs kid who has Asperger’s syndrome. His son Lucas was diagnosed when he was 9 years old. He said, “It’s upsetting to hear that something is wrong with your child. At the same time, it’s a relief to know what’s wrong with your child because if you know what’s wrong then you can start to take steps to help them.”
Christopher saw that his son was struggling to connect with his friends in the second grade, and that’s when they learned about his condition and started his therapy. Gorham empathizes with all parents who have kids with special needs, as he’s faced a lot of challenges and stress. But he also sees the bright side of this situation, as his wife, in his words, became a real superhero in dealing with this.
10. Gary Cole has a daughter with with autism.
Actor Gary Cole is a celebrity with a special needs kid who has autism. He noticed that his daughter Mary was different when she was 2 years old. He says, “She didn’t process information like you or I do, and did not pick up on social cues.” She was diagnosed with autism, but she lived a normal life. She got therapy and assistance from a personal aide, which helped her to go to regular schools in California. Gary’s advice to parents who have kids with special needs is: “Seek answers, and the earlier — the better.”
11. Jenny McCarthy has a son with autism.
Jenny McCarthy is a celebrity with a special needs kid who has autism. Her son Evan stopped talking and interacting with the world when he was diagnosed with autism. Jenny says that’s what happens to many autistic kids — they get trapped in their own minds. But she was determined to help him get better. She started looking for treatments.
She changed the family’s diet, used video modeling and play therapy to teach him how to play with toys, and her “warrior spirit” helped Evan a lot. Jenny says Evan has improved a lot. “He’s doing amazing,” she says. "He’s considered recovered
Bonus: John Travolta has an autistic son with a seizure disorder.
John Travolta is a celebrity with a special needs kid who had autism and a seizure disorder. His son Jett also had Kawasaki disease, which inflames the blood vessels. Jett died when he was 16 years old, but he remains in his father’s heart and mind. He longs for his son every day, and to honor his son, he founded the Jett Travolta Foundation, a nonprofit organization for kids with special needs.
Don’t miss out on learning more about your favorite celebrities and their inspiring stories:
- 7 Heartbreaking Events That Céline Dion Had to Overcome to Become the Inspiring Lady She Is Now
- Hilary Swank, 48, Welcomed Twins and We Couldn’t Be Happier for Her
- 11 Celebrities Who Have Decided to Stop Giving Autographs and Taking Selfies
- 11 Celebrities Who Shared Their Unique and Curious Parenting Styles
- 13 Celebrities and Their Parents Who Look Like Two Peas in a Pod