HomeArts & EntertainmentNew Hallmark Movie Will Feature Channel’s First Character With Autism

New Hallmark Movie Will Feature Channel’s First Character With Autism


Holly Robinson Peete plays the single mother of a teenager with Autism in a new Hallmark Christmas movie.

A new Christmas movie airing on Hallmark this holiday season will feature a character with autism, a first for the channel.

“The Christmas Bond,” stars Holly Robinson Peete, Lyriq Bent, and Nik Sanchez. Sanchez, who is on the autism spectrum himself, plays Peete’s teenage son in the film.

A plot description of the film via Entertainment Weekly reads, “as a single mom and her teenaged son with autism come to a crossroad during Christmas, she must learn to let go so he can flourish as she finds her own heart healing in unexpected ways.”

Why the Movie Is Dear to Peete’s Heart

For Peete, whose previous Hallmark credits include the “Christmas In Evergreen” films, “The Christmas Bond” is a personal project. Her 23-year-old son Rodney Jr. is on the autism spectrum.

“I am dedicating this movie to my son RJ, and others with autism and their families. I am grateful to @hallmarkchannel for bringing this story to screen with authenticity, respect and hope,” Peete wrote on Instagram.

Peete started The HollyRod Foundation in 1997 with her husband Rodney. The foundation’s original mission was to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s Disease (Peete lost her father to the disease). But when Rodney Jr. was diagnosed with autism in 2007, HollyRod expanded its mission to also help those living with autism and their families.

“He’s such a genuine kid,” Peete told People of her son. “I wanted people to see that and fall in love with RJ, and then they wouldn’t be so scared of autism. I think he’s a great ambassador, and I knew his spirit and personality would come through.”

Other Hallmark Christmas Movies Coming Soon

Hallmark fan-favorites including Lacey Chabert, Candace Cameron Bure, and Alison Sweeney are returning in new Christmas movies this holiday season.

Chabert will star in “Christmas at Castle Hart,” a film set in Ireland. A plot description of the film via the New York Post reads, “Brooke Bennett (Chabert) goes to Ireland for Christmas to search for her Irish roots and meets Aiden Hart, Earl of Glaslough. Mistaken for an elite event planner, she’s hired to host his castle’s epic Christmas party.”

“So excited that I can finally share what I’ve been working on this past month. We traveled to Ireland to film “Christmas at Castle Hart” to bring you some Christmas cheer on @hallmarkchannel this holiday season,” Charbert wrote on Instagram.

Sweeney’s film, “Open By Christmas,” premieres on November 5. Sweeney plays Nicky, who finds a never-opened Christmas card from a High school secret admirer. She and her best friend try to figure out who the anonymous author could be.

Candace Cameron Bure stars opposite John Brotherton in “The Christmas Contest.” Lara (Bure) and Ben (Brotherton) are exes competing in a Christmas contest to win money for their favorite charity. Will they discover that love is more important than winning?

“Cat’s out of the bag! @johnbrotherton and I are together again! If you were #TeamMatt on Fuller House, you’re not going to want to miss our new Christmas movie,” Bure wrote on Instagram.

Brotherton played one of Bure’s love interests on “Fuller House.”

READ NEXT: Hallmark Star Speaks Out Against Vaccine Mandates

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