Brendan Fraser Details Son Griffin's Autism Diagnosis and What It Has Taught Him and His Family

Brendan Fraser
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Fraser said Griffin, 20, was diagnosed with autism after having a verbal delay as a child.

Brendan Fraser is opening up about his son, Griffin's autism diagnosis.

Fraser -- who was being honored at Greenwich International Film Festival's Inaugural GIFF Inspiration Talk and Award Ceremony Wednesday -- shared how inspired he is by the 20-year-old and others with autism.

"I'm no expert on the varieties of spectrum disorders. I'm a dad, and that's what I can talk about. My son Griffin has a verbal delay, he had a verbal delay at an early age," Fraser shared. "He got a diagnosis, and we were thunderstruck, as I imagine many of you in the audience here can comprehend or understand because of the surprise that came with not knowing what to do."

He continued, noting their frustration at the time, "No matter which medical text or source you consult, it's like trying to get a straight answer out of a leprechaun. The answer is for reasons unknown."

While he wanted to jump in and "fix" it, The Whale star said he had to fight that urge, and instead learn from Griffin, who he said taught him and his ex-wife, Afton Smith, how to give him everything he needed.

"What that let me know and what let his mom know too is that there are so many people who are there to help, and it's up to us, their parents, their families, their loved ones, to just have the courage to ask for it," Fraser said. "And we can all do this together."

"Of all the individuals I've met over the years who have so much more experience in working with families and kids, they all say the same thing. We're all learning concurrently at the same time," he added.

While his sons, Holden 18, and Leland, 16 were by his side at the 2023 Oscars in March, Griffin was not in attendance but that didn't stop the proud father from giving Griffin a special shoutout during his acceptance speech while taking home the Best Actor trophy for his work in The Whale, saying "Griffin, love you buddy."

He also previously discussed Griffin's love for life in a conversation with Interview Magazine back in November.

"He just turned 20, he's a big kid, he's six foot five, he's got big hands and feet, a big body. I understand intimately what it is to be close to a person who lives with obesity," Fraser said when discussing the parallels between his son and his character in the award-winning film.

Calling Griffin the "happiest person" in his life, Fraser said that the 20-year-old doesn't know what "cynicism" is because of his autism.

"And because of the beauty of his spectrum -- call it a disorder if you will, I disagree with you -- he knows nothing of irony," he added. "He doesn't know what cynicism is. You can't insult him. He can't insult you. He's the happiest person and is, in my life and many others', also the manifestation of love."