10 Celebrities Who Discovered a Different Kind of Love While Raising Kids With Special Needs
Raising a child with special needs can be something very challenging, but also equally rewarding. It tests parents in ways they couldn’t imagine, but it also shows them a whole different world of love and care. There are some celebrities who know what this is like firsthand, and they have valuable wisdom to share with the rest of us.
1. Caterina Scorsone
The Canadian-born Grey’s Anatomy star 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.
2. Amanda Booth
Model, mom, and advocate Amanda Booth has been working to make a much-needed change in the media and fashion industries, thanks to inspiration from her son Micah, who has Down syndrome and autism. Amanda says she first started to notice this need when she went back to work after giving birth to Micah. “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 recalls.
Booth says one of her many favorite things about Micah is his ability to sense kind-heartedness in others. She calls him a barometer that brings out the kindness in everyone when he walks into a room. Amanda works really hard to help the world see a more diverse beauty, and she is not afraid to answer other people’s questions about her son’s condition. 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.
3. Brendan Fraser
Actor Brendan Fraser, who recently won best actor Oscar for the film The Whale, found out his son’s diagnoses, when the kid was 22 or 24 months old. His eldest son Griffin is autistic. At first Fraser was heartbroken and wanted to know how this condition could be cured. But he learned quickly that he wouldn’t have his son any other way. Brendan considers Griffin to be one of the most joyful people in his life and tries to speak about autism as much as possible.
“You know that there’s somebody who needs a little more love, a little more time because they’re autistic or they have Aspergers, and this is their world. This is where they belong. No matter all of the noise surrounding the hysteria that goes into the whole celebrity life, I always, always stop the train to have a moment with them,” shares the actor.
4. Sylvester Stallone
When someone hears the name Sylvester Stallone, they immediately think of Rocky: a tough man with an even tougher heart. Stallone’s son, Seargeoh, was diagnosed with autism at a very young age, and this is what his father had to say about it all: “We have to accept Seargeoh the way he is and understand that his way is just quieter and reserved.” Seargeoh appeared in Rocky 2, as Rocky’s newborn son.
5. Katie Price
Katie Price is a very successful and beautiful model, and she is also a mom. Her son, Harvey, was born in 2002 and he has been diagnosed with autism, blindness, and Prader-Willi syndrome. One of the biggest concerns with this condition is that the person lacks the ability to tell when they are full, so they keep eating. This can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes, each having its own medical side effects.
But Katie has been overcoming all of the troubles and pitfalls together with her son, and now she proudly says 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.”
6. John McGinley
The famous actor John McGinley has a son named Max who has Down syndrome, and he is actively involved in building awareness and being an advocate for people with Down syndrome. In 2011, John received the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award for his work related to people with Down syndrome and people with developmental disabilities in general.
In an interview, he explains what it’s like to have a special needs child: “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.’”
7. Colin Farrell
Who knew Hollywood’s bad boy was a father to a child with special needs? Colin Farrell’s son, James, suffers from a genetic condition called Angelman Syndrome. This condition can cause jerky movements. Colin has done a lot of work with 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 is the reason he started working with the foundation.
8. Rory Feek
Joey+Rory were a beloved country bluegrass duo. Their daughter Indiana was diagnosed with Down syndrome. When her parents found out, they tried to figure out what had caused the condition. Now Rory thinks that he knows the answer.
“I think she can be whatever she wants to be, and Joey and I did not know that,” the country singer, 54, says of raising a child with special needs. “She just needs love, just like everybody else.” Now Rory writes, films, and shares his life and stories with Indie on his blog. “Indiana’s smile lights up not just the room, but the world,” shares the singer.
9. Denise Richards
The actress became nervous when she noticed that her daughter Eloise wasn’t reaching the typical milestones for babies. Later, the girl was diagnosed with a deletion in chromosome 8, a chromosomal disorder that causes developmental delays. Richards says: “I don’t know if Eloise is ever going to talk like a typical child. But as a parent, you want what’s best for your children, and you just do it.”
10. Jenny McCarthy
When Evan, her son, was first diagnosed with autism, Jenny McCarthy says he stopped speaking and began ignoring the world around him. Because, according to her, that’s what most autistic children do — they get locked inside themselves. However, she was determined to help him recover. So she began looking for treatments.
One of the things she did was to fix the family’s eating habits, she also tried video modeling and play therapy to teach him how to play with toys, and it turns out that her “warrior spirit” did indeed help Evan. According to Jenny, Evan has made great strides. “He’s doing amazing,” she says. “He’s considered recovered.”