In the summer of 2012, Jacqueline Laurita revealed to the world that her son Nicholas had been diagnosed with autism. Since then, she's used the diagnosis not just as motivation to help her own child, but parents of autistic children around the world looking for answers, techniques and practices that might help along the way. Now, in the next step of that journey, Jacqueline has launched her blog with Parenting Magazine.
In her first post, titled "Autism is Not a Shameful Secret," Jacqueline explains the emotional toll Nicholas' diagnosis and the experience leading up to it had on her and her family. It's honest and candid, as she opens up about the very moment she heard the news from the doctors:
"Nothing prepared us for the pain of hearing a professional say “Your child has autism.” Seeing the diagnosis written down on a piece of paper in front of our faces hit us hard. I got a lump in my throat, and found it hard to swallow. I could see the pain on my husband's face. The pediatrician gave us information on treatment options, and recreational activities for kids on the spectrum. ... I went home, hugged my husband, and cried until I couldn't cry anymore. I cried for myself; I cried for my husband; I cried for my other kids, and I cried for my Nicholas. After that one-day grieving period, I woke up the next morning focused on bringing out the best Nicholas that he could be. I began reading everything I could find on autism."
In late August, Jacqueline broke the news to People, saying that she and husband Chris "had no idea what was going on" before eventually getting the diagnosis from the doctors. In an emotional moment at the RHONJ reunion, Jacqueline broke down over seeing footage of Nicholas compiled by the show's producers.