‘Changed my life’: Tallulah Willis reveals she was diagnosed with autism last summer

A woman with short red bangs posing in a strapless blue and gold gown on a red carpet
Tallulah Willis, the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, revealed her autism diagnosis in an Instagram post over the weekend.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

For Tallulah Willis, an Instagram throwback about her father, Bruce Willis, evolved into a public conversation about her experience with autism.

Tallulah, the 30-year-old daughter of the “Die Hard” star and his ex-wife, actor Demi Moore, revealed over the weekend that she was diagnosed with autism last year. On Instagram, she posted a video of her younger self in her father’s arms as he answers questions at a red-carpet premiere . In the clip, the younger Willis runs her hands over her father’s head, touching his ears.

“Tell me your [sic] autistic without telling me your [sic] autistic 😂,” she captioned her throwback post.


Bruce Willis’ wife, Emma Heming, urged reporters to ‘stop scaring people’ with stories about her husband’s condition. He has aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

March 4, 2024

While the Instagram video garnered multiple comments expressing love for the tender father-daughter moment, it also prompted responses from people in the autism community, including parents whose children were diagnosed at an early age and a psychologist who specializes in neurodivergent conditions.

When an Instagram follower asked about Willis’ autism diagnosis, she responded, “This is the first time I’ve ever publicly shared my diagnosis.”

“Found out this summer and it’s changed my life,” she replied in a comment, which garnered more than 1,000 likes.

As April is Autism Acceptance Month, known by some as Autism Awareness Month, let’s take some time to understand autism and misconceptions that still persist.

April 18, 2023

Autism is a neurological and developmental condition affecting how people interact, communicate, learn and behave. People who live with autism experience the condition in different ways and can fall along various parts of the autism spectrum. Women and nonbinary people have been historically underdiagnosed with autism.

In the Instagram comments, Willis’ sister Scout LaRue Willis, 32, commented about her sister’s conduct in the video. “She’s stimming,” Scout LaRue said, referring to repeated movements that some people with autism may do to regulate their senses.

“Dude the ear curl,” Tallulah responded. “I wish we had stronger audio.”

Tallulah and her sisters, including Rumer Willis, have shared photos and videos of their father amid his ongoing battle with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia. The “Expendables” star, who turned 69 on Tuesday, was diagnosed with aphasia in 2022 and frontotemporal dementia in 2023. Since the diagnoses, Bruce Willis’ loved ones have voiced support for the actor and raised awareness for his condition.


Demi Moore revealed she copes with ex-husband Bruce Willis’ aphasia battle by staying rooted in the present. ‘Meet them where they’re at,’ she said Tuesday.

Jan. 31, 2024

In January, Moore encouraged people caring for loved ones with dementia to “meet them where they’re at.”

“When you let go of who they’ve been or who you think they [were] or who even you would like them to be,” Moore said, “you can then really stay in the present and take in the joy and the love that is present and there for all that they are, not all that they’re not.”

Emma Heming, the Hollywood icon’s wife, dispelled reports that Bruce Willis felt “no more joy” amid his health battle. In an Instagram video slamming “clickbait” reports, Heming said, “There is so much beauty and soulfulness in this story.”

To celebrate her husband’s birthday on Tuesday, Heming wrote on Instagram, “You are the gift that keeps giving 💞.”

Tallulah responded to her post: “I love you so much. I love him so much! Our Pisces king!”

Former Times staff writer Laura Newberry contributed to this report.