Comedian D.L. Hughley teared up as he spoke about his son who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.
Raising a child with special needs is a challenge, and one comedian and radio host D.L. Hughley knows well.
His son Kyle was diagnosed with Asperger's as a child, and his incredible on-going progress can still bring Hughley to tears.
Hughley is justly proud of Kyle, who at 26 is a college graduate and a caring son.
D.L.Hughley performing at the "Kings of Comedy" | Source: Getty Images
D.L. Hughley's son is now 26, but the comedian still tears up, as he recounts Kyle's achievements and his progress.
Asperger's is a developmental disorder characterized by the sufferers' difficulties with social interaction and emotional connections to those around them. Children with Aspergers are often brilliant but lack social skills and an understanding of boundaries.
DL Hughley and LaDonna Hughley circa 2008 | Source: Getty Images
Hughley opened up about his son and the challenges of being a father of a child on the autism spectrum. He revealed that when his son was first diagnosed, he was overcome with a feeling of guilt, and remembers thinking that Kyle deserved a better father.
D.L. Hughley and his wife Ladonna Hughley at the 39th NAACP Image Awards in 2008 | Source: Getty Images
Hughley praised his son, his courage and his determination, and said that there is no man he respects and admires more than Kyle, whom he saw overcome his difficulties to become a kind and loving person.
DL Hughley at the 2019 Audie Awards in New York | Source: Getty Images
Hughley spoke to parents who are dealing with children with Aspergers and told them that the key was to love, respect, and push them. He explained that because children have difficulties doesn't mean less should be expected of them - only their timing is different.
Hughley is justly proud of Kyle, who at 26 is a college graduate and a caring son. The comedian was in tears recounting that his son had offered to fill up his gas tank - a considerate gesture he would not have thought of a few years ago. Hughley said:
"I could not stop crying, because he did something he was afraid to do. ... I just didn't believe he could do it. He did it."
Hughley reveals that despite his achievements, Kyle still has difficulties. He needs a routine to feel safe, eats the same things, has a strict time schedule for everything he does. The simple act of getting gas for his father - a change in his routine - was a major victory.
Hughley shares two more children with his wife of 34 years, LaDonna; daughters Tyler, 29, and Ryan, 33. Hughley reveals that when Ryan was tiny, the family was struggling to ends meet. LaDonna was in the hospital, and he found himself home alone with his tiny daughter, with no lights and no food to give her except bananas.
Hughley revealed that he then promised his daughter that she would never want for anything again, and providing for his family drove him to succeed. He kept his promise and became one of the foremost comedians of his generation.
Sadly, Hughley's marriage to LaDonna went through some rough patches, when the comedian stepped out on her. One of his affairs resulted in the birth of a son. Tragically, the little boy died at 9 months old, shaken to death by his former mistress' companion.
Years later, Hughley would discover that his former mistress had reached out to his wife for help, and LaDonna was still assisting her financially.
Hughley opened up to Steve Harvey about his wife and revealed that her love and acceptance of who he is is a cornerstone of his life. LaDonna, who has lived through the good times and the bad times with him, is still the woman he's in love with.
In September 2019, Hughley's daughter Ryan got married to Dr.Alejandro Shepard and walked down the aisle on her proud dad's arm.
His two other children are still single, but Hughley id eagerly looking forward to becoming a grandfather as soon as Ryan and Alejandro get around to it.
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