Holly Robinson Peete on Autism, Allergies, and The Talk

"It's our passion to make others more aware and help families in the same situation as us."
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Holly Robinson Peete with her family

What advice do you have for parents of kids with allergies?
Arm yourself with information to get in front of your child’s severe allergies. Be proactive and get in everyone’s business at school so that you can make sure that your children get the care that they need.

We love that you’ve become a shining example of a mom who doesn’t hide her son’s autism diagnosis but rather goes public with it– how has this experience changed you as a person, as a mother and as an actress?
It’s not for everyone. I feel that I’ve been given the gift of communication. When my son was diagnosed with autism, I noticed that not everyone was talking about their experience. But I had a platform for communicating and wanted to share our experiences with other families to try and help. It’s our passion to make others more aware and help families in the same situation as us.

I’ve noticed as a parent of children with severe allergies that anaphylaxis is a topic that is discussed even less than autism. It’s so important to me to share my family’s experiences to try and help other families. I wish more people would share as well.

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Marriage to the same man as long as you and Rodney have been married is almost unheard of in Hollywood- how do you keep those marital embers burning?
With four kids at home, finding time alone can be a little difficult, but Rodney and I make it a priority to take time for ourselves. We have a weekly date night and we have even been known to sneak away for a night or two.

We love you on The Talk…what made you decide to shift gears from acting to hosting a talk show?
I have always loved the talk show format and it had been something I have been wanting to do for a while, so when The Talk opportunity presented itself I jumped at the chance. I loved the idea of moms getting together to discuss everything from our kids to current events and pop culture. It is a privilege to have a live conversation with the country every day.

Melissa ChapmanMelissa Chapman blogs about her marriage and everything in between at http://www.marriedmysugardaddy.com/. Her work has appeared in The Staten Island Advance, Care.com, ABC News, BlogHer, Baby Center, Momtourage, Lifetime Moms, Babble, The Washington Post, Time Out NY Kids and iVillage.

Read all of her Betty columns here.

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