9 Celebrities Who Promote Autism Awareness

Despite the constant barrage of stories about celebrities egging houses (we're looking at you, Bieber), driving drunk (ditto), or getting arrested (yup, still Bieber), sometimes we're reminded that there are celebrities that can do some pretty awesome things, too. Today is Autism Awareness day, which marks the beginning of Autism Awareness Month, and we've decided to showcase some celebs who use their position of fame to make a difference to the cause.

We salute you.

Jon Stewart

Stewart’s company, Busboy Productions, partnered up with Comedy Central in order to present, “A Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs.” This fundraising show included a vast amount of celebrity do-gooders, including the likes of Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Tracy Morgan, Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, and even Katy Perry, who put on one of the most heartwarming performances with a young autistic singer and musician, named Jodi DiPiazza.

You can view the astounding video here.

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Toni Braxton

Braxton has a son who was diagnosed with autism at an early age. After opening up about her and her family’s struggle with her son’s disorder, she has since gone on to be the Autism Speaks Global Autism Ambassador.

Way to go, Toni.

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Kate Winslet

While filming the documentary, A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism, Winslet became inspired. She teamed up with Margret Ericsdottir, mother of Keli Thorsteinsson, the non-verbal autistic subject of the documentary, to start the nonprofit organization, The Golden Hat foundation. The foundation’s mission statement proclaims that is seeks to, “Change the way people on the autism spectrum are perceived, by shining a light on their abilities and emphasizing their great potential.”

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Sylvester Stallone

When Stallone’s youngest son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, he and his ex-wife started a research fund through the National Society for Children and Adults with Autism.

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Jacqueline Laurita

Laurita’s son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with autism in front of America’s eyes on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. She and her family have been upfront about Nicholas’s battle with the disorder and how they fight daily to search for better treatments and a cure. Laurita sees the merit in being honest about her son’s disorder. She was quoted in Parenting as saying, “We feel strongly that autism is not a shameful secret. Nicholas is our son, and we are proud of him.”

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Holly Robinson Peete

Peete and her husband initially started the HollyRod Foundation to support those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, in honor of her father. When Peete’s son RJ was diagnosed with autism in 2000, the foundation has since expanded to helping autistic children and their families with support, resources, and guidance.

Peete is a strong proponent for autism awareness and is active in defending autistic children against misconceptions.

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Betty White

Despite being a totally cute, sassy, and freakin’ amazing 92-year-old, White doesn’t spend her time playing around. She partnered up with Autism Speaks to raise money for the cause making her even more incredible.

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Tom Hanks

All-around good guy, Tom Hanks, not only took part in helping to promote awareness through Autism Speaks, he also took the time out of his busy schedule to meet with an autistic fan and made her life.

Check out the adorable video here.

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