Real Housewives Star Jacqueline Laurita Discusses Her Son's Autism Diagnosis
Eight years ago, Jacqueline Laurita first appeared on Bravo’s reality TV show The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The housewives are known for not holding back their thoughts and opinions. Jacqueline has been no different when it comes to the truth about her family and the love she has for them.
Jacqueline and her husband Chris were told of their son’s autism diagnosis in 2012. They knew the diagnosis would change their family’s life forever but they did not shy away from the cameras. They both wanted to share and document their journey on the reality show to bring awareness to autism and its effects on families.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every eighty-eight children are affected by autism. This means that hundreds of families receive news of a diagnosis every day. The fact that autism is a spectrum disorder means it affects each person in different ways and ranges from very mild to severe.
The word autism can be overwhelming to hear and it is difficult to figure out what you should do next. The Laurita’s know this first hand. They faced questions like what treatment should they seek for their son, where will they find a good doctor and how will their family cope and move forward.
It is important to remember that this might not be the journey you expected for your child and family, it is a different journey, but it is still a wonderful journey. Jacqueline says there are just as many joys raising a child on the spectrum. Her son Nicholas brings their family so much joy, they are constantly laughing and loving each moment.
Jacqueline’s tips to handle an autism diagnosis
Do not isolate yourself, Jacqueline says. The worst thing to do when you find out you have a child with autism is to keep the news within the family. She says you should reach out and speak to others, families with autism and those without.
Not only can you gain support and guidance from those going through a similar situation but you can also teach others who are not affected by autism. Helping other families learn what it is like to know someone with autism and how they can speak to and treat them is equally as important.
It is about community, getting help from others and returning the favor. Jacqueline says she loves the autism community. She keeps in touch with thousands of families through email and autism events. The community is there for education and support.
Know that it is okay to take time to process the diagnosis. Like Jacqueline, you might have several questions at first. You may be disappointed or feel sorry for your child. Or you might be wondering what you should do to best support your child; will you be able to give him or her the best support possible?
Read on to learn more about Jacqueline's life since her son's diagnosis and the effects it has had on their family.
Photo credit: www.jacquelinelaurita.com