Having a third child was not an easy feat for Jacqueline Laurita. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star had tried for years to conceive a sibling for her daughter, Ashlee, and son Chris, but it wasn’t happening for her. After several miscarriages, Jacqueline finally gave birth to Nicholas in 2009. Because of the difficulties she faced, once he finally arrived, Jacqueline was over the moon, celebrating and appreciating each of his milestones in a big way.
Once Nicholas reached 18 months old, Jacqueline started to notice a change in her son. His speech and motor skills stopped progressing and he even began refusing to answer to his name. Jacuqeline also notes that he wouldn’t react to someone entering a room. It was every parent’s worst nightmare — what was wrong with her son?
“We had no idea what was going on,” Jacqueline explains to PEOPLE Magazine. After taking Nicholas to his doctor, Jacqueline finally got an answer. Her son was autistic.
During the filming of season 4, Jacqueline and her husband, Chris Laurita, had been dealing with the diagnosis and it wasn’t easy. She didn’t want to reveal her son’s handicap for the cameras so she kept it to herself. Ironically, she infamously had a breakdown in the middle of filming. No word on if the breakdown had anything to do with Nicholas’ diagnosis.
Now, she’s focused on finding any way to help Nicholas move forward. ”I worry about him being independent when he’s older. I spend all my time researching what we can do for him,” she says.
“You never want to think that your child isn’t perfectly healthy. We didn’t want to believe it was true,” Chris adds. Chris’ business has recently faced financial problems but he’s invested in the successful BLK Water which should allow him more time to spend with his son.
For more of Jacqueline Laurita, tune in to Real Housewives of New Jersey every Sunday night at 10/9c.