Amy Schumer is opening up about the possibility that her 2-year-old son, Gene, may be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder like his dad.
During a candid conversation with fellow comedian Chelsea Handler on Handler's "Dear Chelsea" podcast on Friday, Schumer, 40, who shares Gene with husband Chris Fischer, said she "doesn't have a preference" whether or not Gene is on the autism spectrum.
"I think the statistics are pretty strong toward he will most likely have autism,” Schumer said. “Parents have different journeys with this. Having a child with severe autism is beyond my imagination difficult. But if Gene does wind up having ASD, I’m not looking for the signs in a way that are upsetting. I’m not hoping either way.”
“Most of my favorite people are on the spectrum,” she added.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines Autism Spectrum Disorder as a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior.
Although Schumer said she believed Gene was too young for a diagnosis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable. Typically, however, children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older.
“He’s 2½ and I think they don’t diagnose children until, like, maybe 6 at the earliest, I think. You know, you can see some signs but diagnosis doesn’t come until later and I can say honestly I don’t have a preference either way,” said Schumer. “You just want your kids to be healthy and happy.”
The "Trainwreck" star went on to say that parents shouldn't be fearful about having a child diagnosed with autism.
"I don't think it's scary at all. 'Oh, I'm sorry, your child might be gifted,'" she told Handler, laughing.
“Not everybody’s like some incredible genius with autism but most people, like, they do have a real talent for something,” said Schumer.
“And they’re beautiful, loving, kind people, and good partners,” added the comedian.
Schumer previously discussed her husband’s autism diagnosis, which he received when he was an adult, in her in 2019 Netflix standup special, “Growing."
In May 2021, she paid tribute to Fischer in an emotional Instagram post celebrating Gene's 2nd birthday. Schumer recalled that during "a 3 hour c section" while she was delivering Gene, her devoted husband "held my hand and stared in my eyes so I never felt alone."
"I feel loved and supported always. He takes care of our family and is a husband and father beyond my wildest dreams. Also he has autism spectrum disorder," she wrote, before encouraging others to be tested for a diagnosis.
At the time, the "I Feel Pretty" star also mentioned the possibility that Gene will inherit the condition, saying she would welcome the diagnosis.
“Statistically our son most likely will be diagnosed as well," she wrote, "and if he’s anything like his father that is wonderful news."
During her talk with Handler, Schumer, who's been diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis, also shared details about undergoing an unsuccessful in vitro fertilization (IVF) process in the hopes that she and Fischer might give Gene a sibling.
"I did IVF, we made embryos and I went through the IVF process, which is so hard ... I did it one time and I was like, I’m gonna die. This is awful,” she revealed.
“I got like 31 eggs and I was like, I’m Fertile Myrtle. I just, like, felt very hot,” Schumer continued. “And then the drop off after fertilization, and bla bla bla, we only got one normal embryo and we tried and it didn’t work, and now I don’t have a uterus.”
Though she was saddened IVF didn't work for her, Schumer said she and Fischer were more than happy with their one "perfect" child.
“We tried, but we’re just gonna have the one perfect little adorable angel.”