#9 Dan Marino
Dan Marino’s son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism at two years old. Marino founded the Dan Marino Foundation, which promotes therapies and diagnosis improvements for autistic children. Michael Marino, now 24, has become a prolific DJ, going by the name of DJ 1 Tre.
#8 Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone’s son Seargeoh was born in in 1979. When he was three years old, he was diagnosed with autism. At the time Stallone said, “You can’t force him into your world. I sort of go along with whatever he is doing.”
#7 John Travolta
John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s first child, Jett, was autistic. Jet had severe seizures and he died while the family was on vacation in the Bahamas in 2009. Preston says his autism contributed to his death, since he slipped and hit his head on the bathtub. Preston believes antibiotics and pesticides caused his autism.
#6 Aidan Quinn
Actor Aidan Quinn’s daughter Ava is non-verbal and suffers from autism. Despite all the medical research that shows vaccines do not cause autism, Quinn is adamant that the MMR vaccine directly caused his daughter’s condition.
#5 Shawn Stockman
Boyz II Men founder and member Shawn Stockman has twin sons, Ty and Micah, who were born in 2003. When Micah was a year old, he stopped developing like his brother. After his son was diagnosed with autism, Stockman founded a charity to help families pay for the costs of caring for autistic children.
#4 Gary Cole
The Good Wife and Office Space star Gary Cole’s daughter, Mary, was diagnosed with autism when she was almost two years old. Cole and his wife refused the stigma associated with the disease, explaining to Mary and their other kids what the diagnosis was. Mary is now enrolled at Lynn University.
#3 Tommy Hilfiger
Fashion designer Tommy has two adult children on the autism spectrum, a son and a daughter. Hilfiger and his wife Dee are on the Board of Directors for Autism Speaks, which funds awareness and research campaigns.
#2 Ernie Els
South African golfer Ernie Els has a son, Ben, who has autism. Since his diagnosis, Els has spoken out on behalf of parents and children. He founded the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 and also started the Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, Florida. The school provides special therapies and instruction for kids.
#1 Toni Braxton
Singer and Grammy winner Toni Braxton became involved in the autism activist community when her son, Diezel, was diagnosed with autism. Braxton has raised money and spoken on behalf of Autism Speaks.