updated 12/05/2008 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/05/2008 AT 5:30 PM ET
In a new PSA, debuting first on People.com, six-time Grammy-winner Toni Braxton urges parents and other adults to learn more about the warning signs of autism.
“All of us – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers and family friends to children – must become familiar with the red flags for autism,” Braxton says. “The earlier children are diagnosed and early intervention begins, the better chance a child has of a brighter future.”
Braxton speaks from experience. Her son, Diezel, now 5, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Diezel appears in the ad with his mom, as she points out that one in 150 children are now diagnosed with the developmental disorder.
“Our partnership with the Ad Council has already resulted in a remarkable increase in awareness of autism, and we are confident that Toni’s star power and her courage in participating in this campaign will lead to even greater success,” says Alison Singer, executive vice president of communications and awareness for Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization.
The ad urges viewers to visit autismspeaks.org to learn more.