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Rosie O’Donnell Pens Moving Essay on Daughter Dakota’s Autism Journey

Rosie O’Donnell is getting candid about her daughter Dakota‘s autism diagnosis.

In a personal essay, the A League of Their Own actress shared that she first knew something was wrong when her daughter—who she shares with late ex-wife Michelle Rounds—would not respond to her name being called, prompting her to undergo tests.

“When she was being tested [for autism], the doctor kept calling out to her ‘Dakota, Dakota,'” Rosie wrote in People. “She didn’t respond. Somewhere deep down I knew. Getting the diagnosis felt like I was punched in the stomach. I had to give myself a moment to go, ‘Okay, we’re going to figure out how to get through it.'”

The former talk show host, 60, further wrote that while anyone can “read as much as possible” about autism, it’s a spectrum, so it can be different for each person who has been diagnosed with it. 

After Dakota, 9, was diagnosed, Rosie said that she felt “like an angel fell into my life.”



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