Tommy Hilfiger: Another Parent On The Spectrum

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Designer appears in PSA for the philanthropy Autism Speaks

Public service advertisement (PSA) for Autism Speaks, featuring renowned fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.

Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee have more in common than just design success — they both have children affected with autism.

Hilfiger said that one of the reasons he chose to appear in a public service announcement for the philanthropy Autism Speaks was to honor his16 year-old daughter, Kathleen.

He said that she when was five years old, she was given the diagnosis of being “developmentally delayed.”

Despite seeing doctors at Harvard and Yale, he couldn’t get a grasp on what the trouble was.


Finally they discovered she was “on the spectrum of autism” — but it still left more questions than answers.

He’s proud of his “really smart” daughter who now attends a special school.

“She’ll come and wake me up in the middle of the night and ask, ‘Am I intelligent?’ or ‘Someone in school told me I was a retard, is that true?’ It’s just heart-wrenching.”

While he’s happy his daughter is getting the care and help she needs, he wishes that more people cared about autism.

“The government is not involved in it. People aren’t donating enough money. There’s not enough research,” he said. “There’s no cure. It needs help, so we’ve become involved.”

He said that having a stepchild with similar problems has proved to be a comfort for his daughter.

“Dee has a son my daughter’s age who had the same issue,” he said. “That really brought us together.”

Recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control reveal that 1 in 88 children in the United States has some form of autism.

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