The RHONJ star says Nicholas has made progress since his diagnosis.

on Jul 11, 2013 - The Dish

Last season on The Real Housewives of New Jersey Jacqueline Laurita courageously revealed that her younger son Nicholas was diagnosed with autism.

Now, Jacqueline, who has spent the last year researching the disorder, is opening up about the progress he has made. And in a new interview with Life and Style, she says, "He can answer 'Yes' or 'No,' he can say, 'I love you!'"

Jacqueline adds that he's broadened his use of words, too. "His vocabulary has grown this past year," she says. "But if you ask him a question, he can’t answer you yet.”

While challenges for her son's development still lay ahead, Jacqueline and her husband Chris are committed to doing all they can.

PHOTOS: See Pictures of Jacqueline Laurita Through the Years.

“My husband and I will never give up!” she says. “There are times we get discouraged, and it does hurt, but we know we have to keep trying. We don’t know what the future holds for Nicholas, but we will make sure that we give him all the tools he needs now to make his life easier for him in the future!”

Since gong public with the news, Jacqueline, who is now also a proud godmother, has been transformed into a, "warrior mom," and is actively involved in the autism community.

"I know how much others' stories, information and resources have helped me," she confesses. "We travel together to speak at conferences and events to support each other and help others by sharing our story."