Raising a child with special needs brings a mix of challenges and rewards. Radio host/DJ Abby De La Rosa recently opened up about her daily life after she and Nick Cannon’s son, Zillion. Zillion, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) earlier this year.

In her Instagram stories, De La Rosa answered various questions from her followers about her son, his diagnosis, and their day-to-day life. One follower asked the mother-of-three, “How did you know Zillion was on the spectrum. Also, is he verbal or non verbal?”


“This is a difficult one because he’s so active and can be quite attentive. But there were several signs I started noticing at 6-7 months. A mother’s intuition knows but I just tucked it away,” De La Rosa began her response written over a smiling image of the adorable two-year-old.

“It wasn’t until the last year (probably the busiest year ever) that my baby was really struggling with some things like eye squints, lack of eye contact, lining up his food and toys, specific color interest, etc. I remember vividly his first real moment of stimming and it happened in front of Nick and I,” De La Rosa said.

“He was jumping a little harder then [sic] usual on the bed and then all of a sudden he started flapping his little hands and became repetitive with the flaps. It startled me and I remember feeling my heart starting to race and in that moment, I just knew,” she added.

In terms of whether Zillion is verbal or non verbal, De la Rosa concluded saying that her son, “… says 3-4 words but for the most part he uses his tablet and signing to tell us what he wants.”

Another question that was posed to De La Rosa had to do with Zillion’s twin brother, Zion. The follower asked, “How does Zion care for Zillion? Usually twins protect and speak for one another.”

De La Rosa proudly responded over a smiling picture of Zion that he “is 1000% protector of the pack.” By the pack, De La Rosa is not only referring to Zillion, but to her third child, 17-month-old daughter, Beautiful Zeppelin.

Boys are almost four times more likely to receive an autism diagnosis as compared to girls, per statistics from Autism Speaks. The prevalence of autism differs among various racial and ethnic groups, with lower rates observed in white children at 2.4%, compared to Black children at 2.9%, Hispanic children at 3.2%, and Asian or Pacific Islander children at 3.3%.

According to Autism Speaks, diagnosis and early intervention is key. Autism can be reliably diagnosed by the age of two-years-old.


Photo: Abby De La Rosa Instagram

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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