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Toni Braxton, Autism Advocate

Published on 25 February 2014

Discover the World Of Judaica

by Office of the Spokesperson


New York, NY

Toni Braxton is a six-time Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter and a television actress who has an autistic child. She first noticed that her son Diezel wouldn’t make eye contact when people talked to him. He also tended to play alone. When Diezel was diagnosed with autism, a neural disorder that impairs communication and social interaction, Braxton became an advocate for autism awareness.

In 2007 she was chosen to be the national spokesperson for Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization that funds autism research and awareness programs. In 2012, Braxton was named Autism Speaks Global Autism Ambassador at an event marking the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day.

One in 88 children may have some form of autism, which occurs in children of all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Although the exact causes have yet to be determined — and symptoms and severity can vary — there are common symptoms to look for to determine whether a child has autism.

Being unresponsive to people and focusing intensely on one item are common signs of autism. Such behaviors can be observed in children beginning in early infancy. There is no cure for autism, but loving parents and behavioral treatments and therapies can greatly improve a child’s ability to live a normal life, so early diagnosis is important.



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Posted 2014-02-25 17:05:00