These days, Real Housewives of New Jersey mom Jacqueline Laurita is less focused on the show and more focused on raising awareness for autism. It's a cause close to her heart given that her son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with autism in 2012.
But after watching her heartbreaking struggle to improve his condition this season, how is he doing now that the show has wrapped? "He is doing so good," she tells People. "He is making progress. It's definitely a long process, but when I look back to where he was last year or the year before, he has come such a long way."
In fact, the RHONJ star is now working with ROXO, a company that plans to donate 11 percent of its Christmas box sales to Generation Rescue. Generation Rescue is a non-profit organization that helps those affected with autism by providing information and immediate treatment.
"When we first suspected that Nicholas had autism, there was a three-month waiting period to get in to see our developmental pediatrician," she recalls. "We met with Generation Rescue and Jenny McCarthy, and they were so hands-on. They have always guided us and given us the support and so much information."
That's not all Jacqueline is doing raise awareness. Earlier this year, she revealed she plans to write about her experience with autism. "It's just been really great with my family. I feel like I'm in a very good place," she said in February. She will write the book along with her husband Chris.
"People that aren't going through it don't understand it," she said at the time. "I love having the opportunity to be able to show people because honestly, what's given me strength is listening to everyone else's stories, their struggles, their successes. That's what gives us hope and strength, so if I can do that for someone else, then it feels so good to me."
Jacqueline, however, hasn't said goodbye for good to RHONJ. She returned to the show in a smaller role this past season. With her attention more on social causes and her family, she explained what things have been like since going part-time on RHONJ.
"It was just very stressful," she told People. "So I agreed to do it part-time. It's been positive being away from the craziness of the show."
•Jacqueline Laurita Is Returning to RHONJ!
•Jacqueline Laurita Shares Update on Her Son's Autism
•Jacqueline Laurita: I'm Writing Two Books
•#TBT: Jacqueline Tells Kim G. to Shut Up
•#RHONJ's Jacqueline Laurita Reveals Plastic Surgery