Denise Richards Opens Up About 7-Year-Old Daughter’s Special Needs: “I’m Learning Every Day”

Although Denise Richards may be best known for her sexy scenes in Wild Things and tumultuous marriage to Charlie Sheen, she says being a mom to three girls has trumped all else.


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“I’m most proud of raising my kids, especially in a time that is very different from how I was raised,” says Richards, who is mom to daughters Sam, 14, Lola, 13, and Eloise, 7. “It’s extremely hard to keep children grounded. This is not an easy time to grow up.”

Making it even more challenging is a chromosomal disorder that “has caused a lot of developmental delays” for Eloise. Richards got her first inkling when she noticed Eloise wasn’t reaching typical milestones for babies.

“She wasn’t able to sit up on her own for a very long time, and she didn’t start walking until she was 2, and that was with physical therapy,” she says.

Eloise was diagnosed with a deletion in chromosome 8 two-and-a-half years ago, but Richards is still figuring out the best courses of care for her daughter.


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Lil Eloise happy as can be…

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“She can only say a handful of words,” says Richards, who has been married to Aaron Phypers since September. “And there are times when she feels like her age in understanding, and then other times where it feels she’s emotionally three years old. It’s been challenging. I’m learning every day because they don’t really have a road map for her particular case.”

Despite the uncertainty, Richards is optimistic. “Every child is different,” she says. “You take care of your children no matter what is going on with them. I don’t know if [Eloise] is ever going to talk like a typical child. But as a parent, you want what’s best for your children, and you just do it.”

For more information about Chromosome 8, check out the National Organization for Rare Disorders.


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