Toni Braxton’s Lessons In Autism: “I Thought It Was Something I Had Done”

Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton; Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Toni Braxton is known as a highly successful R&B singer and songwriter. She has many accolades in the music industry selling over 67 million records, 41 million records and her accomplishments also include acting on Broadway and being a highly successful Executive Producer of several reality shows.

READ: Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman On Raising A Child With Autism

But, even with all of the successes Toni had in her career, as a mother she had to learn how to cope with her youngest son’s, Diezel, autism.

Diezel was diagnosed at age three, but Braxton shared with Fox and Friends that she recognized something was different much earlier. “As a mom I knew something was different about him when he was probably nine months old. By the time he became a year and a half I thought ‘He’s not developing like his older brother.’ It was inconclusive, and finally at three they said, ‘Yes, he’s autistic.'”

As a parent who may have a child with autism, you may be scared and wonder what you can do to help your child when you find out that your child has this diagnosis.

While having a child with autism can present some challenges, this diagnosis does not mean that they cannot have a high quality of life.

Here are some things you can learn from Toni Braxton as you help yourself and your child navigate through an autism diagnosis:

Don’t blame yourself.

Toni Braxton, upon learning her son had been diagnosed with autism, initially blamed herself. Braxton told the site She Knows, “I felt sorry for myself for a long time and I blamed myself. I thought it was something I had done.” But, it wasn’t her fault and it’s not yours. 

READ: Woman Gives Autistic Children Hope Through Swimming

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been an ten-fold increase of autism prevalence in the last 40 years. Autism is 4-5 times more common among boys than girls. There are 3 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide who have autism.

Much was not previously known about what causes autism. But, research is showing that environmental influences, rare gene changes or mutations cause autism, which impacts early brain development. Bottom line, if your child receives a diagnosis of autism, it is not your fault. Autism is caused by factors that are outside of your control.