Holly Robinson Peete's Fight For Autism Awareness

Holly Robinson Peete's Fight For Autism Awareness

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and Holly Robinson Peete visits Access Hollywood Live to discuss her ongoing crusade to raise awareness about Autism through her HollyRod Foundation. Holly’s oldest son RJ is affected by Autism, but why did she initially create the HollyRod Foundation? What has her family’s journey been like after RJ’s diagnosis?

thethe. Welcome back to "Access Hollywood live". National autism awareness month. Back with holly Robinson Peete whose oldest son rj is affected by autism. Started the foundation in 1997 that focus on autism and Parkinson's disease. Began with Parkinson's that was your father Matthew. That's right my dad rest his Seoul was Gordon on sesame strichlt I didn't know that. He was the original Gordon. The big pork chop side pwivrnlt love hit. He was awesome but he got park sons in his 40's. Young on set Parkinson's they call it and it was tough. That's how we started holly rod for family with Parkinson's then our son was diagnosed with autism we moved into that as another mission. He was 46 years old when he got it. How long did he live with it. 20 years. Got it -- died at 66. Yes. It was tough. Really tough. We know so much more about it now with Ali and Michael J fox. With your support and your, you know, being there for him and being able to help him tshltion right, he probably made. Lived longer. Than he would have. So many family don't have the kind of compassionate care we were providing for them to help family going through what they go through with Parkinson's. Rj. How old was he when he was diagnosed. Diagnosed at 3. And it was crazy to say the story a million times. It was a kick in the gut with the diagnosis but at that time I want to say autism previous lens is something like 1 in two 50. And now cbc came out 1 in 68. Why is that. You know kit I don't know. I'm not a doctor or scientist I'm just a mom but I think there's some environmental factors combined with some kind of pre-disportion predisposed trigger. I don't know. But all I know is there are hundreds, thus of families out there dealing with autism that can't afford the services so that's where holly rod cothat's where holly rod comes in. It's the middle of April. Autism awareness month. A nutty month for you. My gosh I'm beyonce on tour. Seriously. It is autism spotlight and a lot of brands and a lot of people come and say listen we weren't to spread the word so we have grit if you partner. AT&T. Great new partner tablet and knob tablet and gift of voice so awesome because 33 percent of children with autism have no verbal skills at all so we try to provide them with technology and app that help them communicate. Question. When your son was first diagnosed with autism did it put stress that how long on you and Rodney in the marriage and how long did it take to work it out. Couple dealing with special needs kids have something like 80 plus percent of divorce rate. I would imagine. Tough. Stressful. Trying to figure out what happened. Did I do something wrong and then it's expensive. Right. It cost a lot of money sow fight aboutfight about money and treatment. And siblings. And siblings. So it's very stressful and thank god that Rodney stuck around there was a moment. I'm going to leave you for him because he was not the son you thought he was going to have and so he wrote a great book called not my boy. I encourage dads to read it because dad process autism diagnosis differently than mom do. How old is rj now. He's 16. A little mustache. He's gorgeous. He's a good looking boy. He's great. He has language now. So happy. We just celebrated something called rj place. Open up a room for siblings. Sibling recreation ramp when you drag the kid around the country around the city to get autism treatment the sibling get ignored. No police to do the home work to chill so holly rod trying to fix that.