Denise Richards is learning how to navigate life with her special needs daughter.
The former Bond girl, who is now a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills regular, adopted Eloise in 2011 and now reveals the seven year old was diagnosed with a deletion in chromosome 8 two-and-a-half-years ago.
“It has caused a lot of developmental delays for her,” she tells People magazine. “She wasn’t able to sit up on her own for a very long time, and she didn’t start walking until she was two, and that was with physical therapy.”
“She can only say a handful of words 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.”
But Denise, who also shares two daughters with ex-husband Charlie Sheen, is determined to raise Eloise as normal as possible.
“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.”
And she wants to devote as much time to her children as she can, because she knows their childhoods will not be as easy as hers was.
“I’m most proud of raising my kids, especially in a time that is very different from how I was raised,” she adds. “It’s extremely hard to keep children grounded. This is not an easy time to grow up.”