- Toni Braxton said in an interview this week that her son Diezel, 13, has been cured of autism and shows no signs of the disorder
- Diezel was diagnosed with autism at the age of three and ‘off the spectrum’ as a child according to Braxton
- Braxton said that she is ‘one of the lucky parents’ and credited ‘early diagnosis’ as the reason for the change in her son
- In her 2014 memoir, Braxton wrote that she believed her son’s autism was punishment for God because she had an abortion
Toni Braxton said in an interview with Access Hollywood on Wednesday that her son had been cured of his autism.
‘My youngest son, as everyone knows, my son Diezel suffers from – or I should say suffered from autism. I am one of the lucky parents,’ said Braxton.
‘Early diagnosis changes everything. I will tell you this. I will shout it from the rooftops.’
Braxton, 48, then went on to say that Diezel, 13, was ‘off the spectrum’ as a child but now has no signs of autism.
‘Our lives have changed,’ said Braxton.
Lucky mom: Toni Braxton said in an interview this week (above) that her son Diezel, 13, has been cured of autism and shows no signs of the disorder
Changes: Diezel (above in 2016) was diagnosed with autism at the age of three and ‘off the spectrum’ as a child according to Braxton
Diezel was diagnosed as autistic when he was just three, and soon after Braxton said she received a call from Suzanne Wright, the co-founder of Autism Speaks.
Braxton said that Wright gave her tips and suggested programs that she should get Diezel enrolled that might be able to help.
‘She’s been an advocate in helping me so much. I miss her already. I mean, I can’t believe she’s gone,’ Braxton said of Wright, who passed away at the age of 79 last week.
Now, 10 years after he was first diagnosed, Braxton describes her son as a ‘social butterfly’ and her family as ‘very, very fortunate.’
Braxton gave birth to Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis in March 2003 after a difficult pregnancy that forced her to go on bed rest.
Diezel was the singer’s second son with husband Keri Lewis, with the couple welcoming son Denim Cole Braxton-Lewis two years prior.
Braxton said that she first grew concerned with Diezel’s development when she began to notice he did not make eye contact with people when they spoke to him, and often preferred to play alone.
In the years after her son’s diagnosis Braxton quickly became one of the most visible and vocal advocates for autism awareness.
She was selected to be the national spokesperson for Autism Speaks in 2007, and five years later in 2012 the same group gave her the tile of Autism Speaks Global Autism Ambassador at a United Nations event about the disorder.
Braxton’s role as a spokesperson for Autism Speaks came around the same time that Jenny McCarthy also became involved the the autism advocacy community.
McCarthy’s son Evan was diagnosed as autistic in 2005 and in 2007 she released her book Louder than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.
One year later she said in an interview that vaccines can trigger autism, a polarizing statement that many disagreed with and some medical professionals claimed was not only irresponsible but also potentially fatal.
McCarthy said that she was eventually able to ‘fix’ her son’s autism and that he was close to being cured of the disorder.
Proud mom: Braxton said that she is ‘one of the lucky parents’ and credited ‘early diagnosis’ as the reason for the change in her son (above with her sons Denim and Diezel)
Braxton also made some shocking claims in her 2014 memoir Unbreak My Heart about Diezel’s autism and how she believed it was a punishment from God for having an abortion.
‘In my heart, I believed I had taken a life – an action that I thought God might one day punish me for,’ wrote Braxton, who grew up in a very religious family.
‘My initial rage was quickly followed by another strong emotion: guilt. I knew I’d taken a life…I believed God’s payback was to give my son autism.’
Braxton has been very public about the many struggles she has faced in her lifetime, with the seven-time Grammy winner twice having to file for bankruptcy despite her status as one of the best selling artists of the 90s.
She has also had her own health struggles, suffering from a number of medical problems for years before finally being diagnosed with lupus.
The chronic and potentially life-threatening autoimmune disease cannot keep Braxton down however, and she is set to hit the road with her Hits Tour in October.
Braxton, who divorced Lewis in 2013, is currently dating Cash Money Records label head Birdman.