Parents whose children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum understand that they often have to recalibrate their expectations for their children's accomplishments. Yes, those kids can do wonderful things, but often on their own schedules.
Comedian D.L. Hughley is one such parent. His son Kyle is now 26 and was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when he was a child. Kyle went on to many life successes and has a college degree — but he can still surprise dad with the strides he's making.
Hughley, who starred in sitcom "The Hughleys," talked about one such accomplishment on "Oprah: Where Are They Now" recently, and couldn't hold back the tears of pride.
"He graduated from college, but everything has to be the same," said Hughley. "He goes to work at the same time. He eats the same thing."
But a few weeks ago, when Dad needed gas for his car, Kyle volunteered to do it. This seemingly small change was actually a big leap for the young man.
When Kyle came back with the receipt for the gas and the car keys, said Hughley, letting the tears flow freely, "I could not stop crying, because he did something he was afraid to do. ... I just didn't believe he could do it. He did it."
It was a major empowerment moment for Kyle and a way for Dad to confirm that his son could be independent in the world regardless of his diagnosis. "I held him and I said, 'You're gonna be all right,'" recalled Hughley. "And I think sometimes I don't know for sure, but he's gonna be fine. He'll be fine."
Hughley later tweeted about the clip, and his fans and friends joined in with support.