'She's a gift': Rosie O'Donnell talks about her daughter with autism in touching essay

Rosie O'Donnell said, 'She teaches me. To be able to see the world as she does — for me, it's been a wonderfully magical experience. I'm so glad we have each other'

'She's a gift': Rosie O'Donnell talks about her daughter with autism in touching essay
Rosie O'Donnell says her daughter Dakota with autism has been 'a gift' (@rosie/Instagram)
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Rosie O’ Donnell opened her heart out in a moving essay about her daughter, Dakota who has autism. The mother, who started her career as a TV host expressed her emotions for Dakota by writing an essay in the latest issue of People magazine. "What worries me the most is how she’d be after I’m gone," said O’Donnell.

She also wrote, "I was worried about how she would make it in this world. I was worried about my longevity because as you speak to parents of kids with autism, their main worry is what happens when they die. Who's going to love their child and understand them the way you do?"

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O’Donnell expects the fact that the world might not be always fair to her, "I know this is something that will be with her her whole life, and she'll learn to adjust to a world that doesn't necessarily go at her own pace,"

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'She had given me a new perspective'

O’Donnell feels that since her daughter Dakota, who suffers from a mental condition, came into her life, she had a deeper understanding of the world and sees things differently. "With Dakota, I am learning to have compassion much deeper than I ever did," she wrote for People.

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"To really listen and communicate in a way I never had to with my other kids. I know there are people struggling and they don't know how they will get through another day. And I understand. But the sense of vulnerability that comes with having a kid with autism has been a gift to me. She teaches me."

'Growing without a mother at a young age is tough'

O’Donnell, 60, lost her mother to breast cancer when she was just 10 and shared how much she missed her presence. “Dakota is 9½ now. I've been fraught with anxiety when each of my children turned 10. I have that year of thinking, 'I better not die,'" she said.

"I was 10 years old when my mom died of breast cancer. It's a shocking thing to lose a mother at a young age. Your mom is the center. You need them for everything: training bras, transitioning into puberty. Going through that on my own was a scary part of my childhood. You feel very alone. I don't ever want Dakota to feel that.”
 
O’Donnell ended the essay by sharing how grateful she is to have Dakota in her life, “She teaches me. To be able to see the world as she does — for me, it's been a wonderfully magical experience. I'm so glad we have each other.”

Rosie O’Donnell is currently working in the Showtime series 'American Gigolo', where she plays a tough-talking detective. 

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