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Waleed Aly opens up about his son with a rare heart-wrenching parenting confession

The Project host shared an unexpectedly emotional anecdote about his son's autism diagnosis.

By Jess Pullar
He's known as the hard-hitting funny guy on The Project, but in a rare moment, Waleed Aly opened up about something very close to his heart on the show, and it left the whole country spellbound.
Aly, who was discussing a segment about comedian Tom Gleisner's work for an Austism Centre called Learning for Life, opened up about his own son, who was diagnosed with autism in 2011.
Commenting on the reaction from the person in the segment, Waleed said he and his wife had felt quite the opposite, which then sparked a very important conversation.
Explaining about his reaction upon finding out about the diagnosis, Waleed said: "I didn't worry, it didn't hit me in the face - it actually explained a lot of things and it opened up doors."
And with this new understanding, Aly said this changed his approach to parenting.
"You've got to try and reorientate everything, so that you're communicating with the kid in a way that actually works with the way their brain works," he said.
And in a heart-warming moment, the host explained exactly how it feels to know he's doing the right thing for his son.
"When you do that and you get those moments where a door opens...it's unbelievable and your heart just leaps".
"Your heart just leaps" - Waleed Aly has opened up about his son in a way he never has before. (Image: Network Ten)
And while the good moments are great for Waleed, he didn't sugar coat the realities of looking out for a loved one with autism.
"The thing that is really scary about it is you actually don't know what their ceiling is," he explained.
"All the things that you would normally take for granted like when they have a career, when they get married or whatever, you're just facing an unknown. You don't know if those things will ever be possible."
"And when you see something you don't know is possible happen it changes your world, it's really powerful."
Waleed's quotes have been met with praise from fans, who took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
"I was never as fortunate to have a parent that tried to understand autism like Waleed does. You have a very lucky boy" wrote one person.
Waleed has opened up sparingly in the past about his son's diagnosis, telling TV WEEK in 2016: "Because of the early diagnosis, he was able to get the support he needed. He's just coming on in leaps and bounds."
"He's a lovely little man, and it's lovely watching him grow through all these things".
And while he said he was a little unsure at first about sharing his son's diagnosis so publicly, he said the "seal was broken" when a special feature about it aired on The Project.
WATCH: The Project's Waleed Aly calls for unity after Paris attacks. Story continues after video...
Waleed is known for sharing inspiring and empowering anecdotes on the show. In March, he opened up about living as a Muslim following the horrific Christchurch terror attack on a local mosque that took 51 lives.
Opening up about the Muslim faith and his feeling of utter hopelessness over what had happened, the TV host captured the attention in the millions, with his speech even being noticed by the Kiwi PM herself, Jacinda Ardern.
In a poignant interview, Jacinda spoke to Aly following the attacks in Christchurch, first telling him: "I saw your piece on The Project and it was incredible."
Jacinda's interview with Waleed touched the hearts of the masses. (Image: Network Ten)