Deron Williams is all about Autism Awareness and giving back, says his son changed him. His life took a turn in the summer of 2011. During the NBA lockout that year, his 22-month-old son D.J. was diagnosed with autism.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Williams says. “We thought he might have just had hearing issues when he wasn’t looking at us. We had his hearing checked. He was having nose bleeds, so we thought he might be having neurological damage.” D.J. (short for Deron Jr.) was adopted by the Williams family as a newborn from an agency in Utah. Amy is also adopted, fueling her desire to adopt a child. Ironically, D.J. was born at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, four miles away from Barclays Center and it happens to be the official hospital of the Nets. D.J.’s diagnosis left Deron and Amy with a whirl of emotions.

“You start wondering if the kid if going to have a normal life and get married even though he’s only 2 years old,” Williams says.

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