When singer Toni Braxton is not worrying about her health(the singer suffers from Microvascular Angina, a condition of the heart), she is busy being a mom to her two boys and a wife to musician Keri Lewis:
Toni Braxton prides herself on being a mom, whipping up a bowl of linguine with clam sauce(a family favorite),helping with homework and playing endless games of SpongeBob Monopoly. Older son Denim,6,(pictured above) “is smart,” says Braxton. “He Googles everything,” including some sites that have his mom grateful for parental controls. Recently, he’s been begging for an iPhone because, as he reasons,” How else am I going to vote for Mom on Dancing With The Stars?”
While Denim started school earlier than his peers,when her son Diezel(pictured above) was a year old,Braxton could tell that he was developing differently and was lacking in vocabulary and motor skills.”He wasn’t saying my name.No eye contact. he wouldn’t say ‘cup” or ‘juice’,” Braxton says.”As a mom,you can tell.” The same day she learned after numerous consultations with specialists, that Diezel was autistic, she had to go onstage at the Flamingo[in Vegas]. In tears,she broke down and told the audience what had happened.”You tend to blame yourself,”Braxton says.”Is there something i did wrong? A lot of times,parents are in denial because they want to think their child is perfect. But it’s just that these kids have to be taught differently. Diezel has a sensory issue,for example. When we go to movies,we bring his earmuffs because certain sounds pierce his ears.He told me it’s like sharp pencils poking his ear.”
Today an ABA(applied behavior analysis) specialist accompanies her son to kindergarten and works with him at home. “A friend of mine told me,’Toni,all these autistic kids in the world now,they are God’s new angels,and they are here to show us life differently,'” says Braxton,who also serves as a spokeswoman for the charity Autism Speaks.”I’ve been embracing that.I’ve come to terms with it. He is a wonderful kid.”
Angina is the chest pain that occurs when blood flow is restricted to the heart muscle. Braxton’s condition is attributed to blockage in the small arteries. Also known as Cardiac Syndrome X,the condition affects more women than men. With medication and regular exercise,” Toni’s prognosis is excellent,” says Braxton’s cardiologist, Dr. Jay Schapira of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Scans courtesy of People magazine,words transcribed by Blackcelebkids.com