Famous Parents of Special Needs Children

Who numbers among these famous people with disabled children? Actor John Travolta appears on this list. John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son, Jett, had autism. The couple rarely speaks about their son’s condition. Sadly, Jett died in 2009 – at the age of 16 – after suffering a seizure that resulted in him hitting his head.

Sylvester Stallone’s son, Seargeoh, was diagnosed with autism at an early age. “Listen, God and nature made him different,” the Rocky actor said. “We have to accept Seargeoh the way he is and understand that his way is just more quiet and reserved.” Other celebrities with special needs kids include Jenny McCarthy, Colin Farrell, and Katie Price.

Though the couple rarely spoke about their son’s condition, John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s child, Jett, had autism. Jett tragically died in 2009 – at the age of 16 – after suffering a seizure that resulted in him hitting his head.

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Sarah Palin’s son Trig was born with Down syndrome. “Yes, we face extra fears and challenges, but our children are a blessing, and the rest of the world is missing out in not knowing this,” she said.

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Sylvester Stallone’s son, Seargeoh was diagnosed with autism at an early age. “Listen, God and nature made him different. We have to accept Seargeoh the way he is and understand that his way is just more quiet and reserved,” the Rocky actor said.

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Mia Farrow has adopted several children with special needs.

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Colin Farrell’s son, James, suffers from a genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome. “When you’re the parent of a child with special needs, it’s important to feel that you’re not alone,” he said of his work with the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome.

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Jenny McCarthy’s son, Evan, has autism. The actress and television personality has become an outspoken activist for alternative medical treatments for the condition.

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Ed Asner has several grandchildren on the autism spectrum. The Mary Tyler Moore Show star works tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for the condition.

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Toni Braxton’s son, Diezel, was diagnosed with autism. “As a parent you always feel, was there something I could have done differently,” she said in an interview. “But what I’ve come to understand through my friends at Autism Speaks, is there is nothing wrong with our babies, and it’s nothing you’ve done or you could have done differently, it’s just what the situation is.”

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Dan Marino’s son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. “We’re going to do whatever we can to help Michael to get the best help,” Marino said. “We want to give him the best chance he can have to succeed in life.” His personal experience with his son’s condition inspired Marino to start a foundation focused on spreading awareness of autism and assistance to those living with it.

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Gary Cole’s daughter, Mary, was diagnosed with autism in 1995. He encourages parents to “seek answers, and the earlier the better.”

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Holly Robinson Peete’s son, RJ, has autism. “He struggles valiantly with subjects like math and reading and loves to write. Thankfully his classmates accept him just as he is,” she said.

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John C. McGinley’s son, Max, has Down syndrome. The Scrubs actor is a board member and international spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

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Laura San Giacomo’s son, Mason, was born with cerebral palsy in 1996. “We don’t have a really constructive or positive view of disability really around the world. But what would happen if the doctor said to you, instead of these ridiculously heartbreaking predictions, which are so often not true, why don’t they say to you, ‘Look, this is the greatest gift you’re going to be given,'” she said.

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Doug Flutie’s son, Doug Flutie, Jr. was diagnosed with autism. “Dougie has taught us to keep our lives in the right perspective. He has taught us to take it one day at a time, don’t take anything for granted and appreciate everything about life, especially the small things. But most especially he has taught us how to smile and be happy and look at every aspect of life in the most positive way possible,” said the NFL star.

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Jacqueline Laurita has shared the ups and downs of being a parent to a child with autism on the Real Housewives of New Jersey. “I don’t think people should be afraid or ashamed to share their struggles. When you open up, you often find that it’s the support and generosity of others that can provide the strength and tools you need to get through it,” she said.

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Aidan Quinn’s daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with severe autism. “It’s a very difficult journey and I didn’t do so well on parts of it. I will tell you one thing. My career absolutely took a back seat right away and it still has to, to this day,” he said.

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Joe Mantegna’s daughter, Mia, has autism. “We thought if we were going to face this, let’s all face it together. Let’s do this as a family,” he said.

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Mark Feuerstein’s daughter, Addie, has a rare heart condition. “It’s a miracle. All those surgeons, doctors, and nurses who helped her remind me what an honor and privilege it is to get to pretend to be one of them,” he said.

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Christopher Gorham’s son, Lucas, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome around the age of nine. “It’s upsetting to hear that something is wrong with your child,” he said of the diagnosis. “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.”

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Greg Grunberg’s son, Jake, was diagnosed with epilepsy. “Talking about this is so important,” he said.

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Will Clark’s son, Trey, is on the autism spectrum.

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Model Katie Price’s son Harvey (born 2002) has autism, blindness, and Prader-Willi syndrome. “The syndrome he has means he feels hungry all the time so he’ll just eat and eat and eat,” she said. “It is really tough at times.”

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