‘Real Housewives’ Jacqueline Laurita Reveals Son Has Autism, Hosts Benefit

By: Lauren DiMascio / August 22, 2012

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Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, Jacqueline Laurita has revealed that her three-year-old son Nicholas has autism.

The developmental disorder, which now affects one in 88 children in the United States according to the CDC, can impact a child’s language and social development. Symptoms of the disorder often appear in the first three years of life.

What did Jacqueline sas about her son’s diagnosis? 

She told People Magazine that she worries “about him being independent when he’s older. I spend all my team researching what we can do for him.”

Jacqueline has two older children as well, Ashlee, 21 and C.J., 10.

In an effort to raise money for much-needed research, she’s hosting a dinner, Sparkle Speaks, presented by The Sparkling Event at castmate Caroline Manzo’s The Brownstone on September 20. Proceeds from the benefit will go towards Autism Speaks.

Speaking of the time leading up to his diagnosis, she said “we had no idea what was going on” when Nicholas’ speech and motor skills began to regress. Her son had stopped responding to his name and noticing people entering the room.

After the diagnosis, her husband Chris said they didn’t want to believe it was true. “You never want to think that your child isn’t perfectly healthy.”

The reality star divulged that during the fourth season of Housewives she hid his medical issues from the camera.

To learn more about autism or donate to the cause, head to AutismSpeaks.org.

To buy tickets for Laurita’s event, click here.