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Celebrities and Autism: An Update

By May 14, 2007

This week, Autism Speaks announced that members of the cast of the popular soap opera Guiding Light will be wearing autism awareness pins as part of an autism-related story line. Beth Chamberlin, who plays Beth on the program, has made a short video on the subject of autism as part of the show's weekly "My Light" segment, which you can view and download.

In unrelated celebrity news, John Travolta, a Scientologist, has a son who is rumored to be autistic. In this blog on the ParentDish site, a blogger wonders whether the rumors are true - and if they are, whether the Travoltas are doing the right thing by their son.

Whether John's treatment of son Jeff is appropriate or not, kudos are certainly in order for his brother, Joey Travolta, who recently produced a film entitled "Normal People Scare Me." Directed by autistic teen Taylor Cross, the film has received kudos from the autism community and film reviewers alike. Joey Travolta is also the founder of Actors for Autism, a program that involves young people with and without autism in acting, animation and filmography classes.

May 14, 2007 at 2:12 pm
(1) Sandy says:

People have been talking about John Travolta’s son for years. He is said to have Kawasaki Disease IF his son does have a form of autism, who is to say what method is wrong? Maybe Scientology works for that child. Watch out for the day a parent cant make that choice for their children, they’ll then take away the waivers for vaccines (people could think the same thing about that)

People seek out alternative medicine every day. who are we to judge right or wrong.

I watched the video clip. Very well done!

May 18, 2007 at 8:52 am
(2) Cyndy says:


It isn’t that they are using Scientology… Scientology doesn’t ALLOW for a diagnosis of autism, or pretty much anything else you’d see in the DSM. Is no treatment, no therapy, no nothing other than sticking a child in front of a TV for 15 years and virtually ignoring him because your “religion” won’t acknowledge something exists still acceptable?

“Kawasaki Disease” is actually a high fever and can result in heart attack or aneurysm as well as lifelong damage to the coronary arteries. It isn’t something that would account for autistic symptoms, but it’s so rare the name gets tossed out and people accept it as an explanation for everything without knowing what it actually is.

May 24, 2007 at 10:04 pm
(3) Sandy says:

you’d have to research Scientology and the lifes of John Travolta before any of us has a right to judge what they’re doing as to right or wrong.

Kawasaki Disease has nothing to do with autism, and it’s not so rare. I know a mom whose son also is affected by Kawasaki Disease. If any have been following this Travolta thing, all they have ever acknowledged is Kawasaki Disease.

It makes for good press conversation.

June 1, 2007 at 10:08 am
(4) Sandy says:
February 9, 2008 at 12:29 pm
(5) Charles says:

well, i think its very hard to raise a chiled with autism , but i think great parent will do their best for they children even when they children have austism… bt i’m still confuse, what is the different between kawasaki diseaseand autism?? are they same?? i heard music can be a good alternative for solving austism problem…

October 17, 2008 at 4:12 pm
(6) Amy says:


Are you a Scientologist!

April 21, 2009 at 11:07 am
(7) jessica says:

dear anyone reading this,

hello. and who really cares if his son is autistic?

May 26, 2009 at 11:03 am
(8) Stacy says:

Anyone who has a autistic kid and is researching what others have tried…

May 26, 2009 at 5:09 pm
(9) Akivhsa says:

I have an autistic xhild and I care about my son being autistic. So people do care if thier son or daughter is autistic. Jessica that was for you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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