What does R&B singers Bilal and Toni Braxton have in common? They’re both caring for children with Autism, a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of a child’s life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills.
Bilal, who is still on the road promoting his latest album âAirtight’s Revenge,’ recently opened up about his oldest son Bashir’s battle with the illness. In addition, he created a music video for his song “Little One,” which is a recorded tribute to his son.
“I just wanted to do a song for the fathers,” Bilal told TheUrbandaily.com on why he wanted to do the record for his son, who was diagnosed around four years old. “People always write songs from a mom’s perspective or to their moms. This is something I did for my children.”
Currently, doctors don’t have a wealth of treatment options available for Autism but Bilal is very hands on with his son’s development and he shares how he fronts the diseases.
“My son is high functioning so he deals with a lot of sensory overload and high energy,” says Bilal. “I do a lot of things to calm him down. I changed his diet. He’s on an all-gluten free diet. I’ve also introduced different exercises and music to help him. I have him playing the drums so it allows him to get out a lot of his energy. It also teaches him focus and rhythm.”
In 2010 Bilal participated in a walk on the National Mall in D.C. for Autism awareness and performed the song “Little Ones” for the event-goers. In addition he spent a lot of the time with other parents of autistic children.
“I really put myself out there on this because [I am a] young parent] and I know there are a lot of young parents who don’t know what is going on with their child,” he says. “Younger parents like myself chalk it up to just being a bad kid maybe. [But] a lot of the things you can help with depend on how soon you detect it.”
His son is now nine years old and has made a lot of progress. We commend Bilal for his dedication!