In the United States, autism occurs in eleven out of every one thousand children. In many cases, the diagnoses comes as a big surprise, especially when it occurs in one twin and not the other. Such as in the case of Rodney Jackson “RJ” Peete.
Who is Rodney Jackson “RJ” Peete’s family?
RJ is the son of former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and actress Holly Robinson Peete. RJ has a twin Ryan, and two younger siblings, Robinson and Roman. Does holly robinson peete have an autistic child?
Holly robinson peete kids.
When RJ was first born, he and his twin sister were very similar in learning to walk, talk and other milestones. However, prior to his third birthday, RJ stopped talking. In fact, he stopped responding to people calling out his name. A professional diagnosed RJ as having a mid to high functioning level of autism. This news of course stunned his parents and was just the beginning of challenges that the family would face.
How did they find help for their autistic son?
Immediately, the Peetes began to search for help for RJ. Money and hours were poured into occupational therapy, speech therapy and even vision therapy. RJ was put onto various diets, enzyme treatments, acupuncture and hypnotism. Progress was made at times, but nothing brought about big changes. The Peetes spent close to $500,000 in treatments.
At age three, RJ was enrolled in a preschool designed for children with special needs. As with many autistic children, RJ had his rough days of tantrums and crying uncontrollably. Because of his behaviors, the Peetes found it challenging to take RJ out into the public. People acted as though Holly was a bad mom who couldn’t control her son. Even friends of the family sometimes didn’t know how to act around RJ.
How to make autistic child communicate
Persistence counts. From the very start, Rodney and Holly set goals for RJ. With great persistence and consistent interaction, the parents were able to help RJ carry small conversations. Repetitive behaviors were simply not allowed. For example, when RJ wanted to constantly bounce a ball, Rodney insisted that he shoot a basket after every five bounces.
How is RJ doing today?
Today, RJ is in a mainstreamed school and is accepted by his peers. He sets goals for himself and attempts academics. RJ especially enjoys writing. Although he has no desire to follow in his dad’s athletic footsteps, RJ is a gifted piano player.
Autism may always be a part of RJ’s life, but autism is not his life. With such loving support of his parents, RJ is a beautiful example of how a child can accept having autism and focus on the good things in life.
Holly robinson peete foundation
Mr. And Mrs. peete have founded hollyrod.org/ in honor of Holly’s father, Matthew T. “HollyRod’s mission expanded to provide support and resources to families also affected by an autism diagnosis.” The HollyRod foundation accepts donation. Please support them.
Also see, our “Real Story on Autism“