Life under a microscope would be tough for any mom, but Jacqueline Laurita of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was dealing with a lot more than she let on while filming the reality show's fourth season: Her 3-year-old son Nicholas was diagnosed with autism.
Apparently Nicholas began to withdraw at about 18 months old, not responding to the sound of his name or looking up when someone entered the room. His speech and motor skills were regressing, too.
"We had no idea what was going on," Laurita told People magazine. Whatever it was, Laurita knew she wanted to shield Nicholas from the cameras until they figured his issues out. I can't how much more difficult her circumstances must have made this already difficult situation, can you?
As Laurita's husband Chris says, "You never want to believe your child isn't perfectly healthy. We didn't want to believe it was true."
But since accepting the diagnosis, Laurita says she spends "all her time researching what we can do for him."
"I worry about him being independent when he's older," she admits.
Thankfully Nicholas has the support of his loving parents and two older siblings, Ashlee, 21, and C.J., 10. Not to mention plenty of "aunts." And, who knows, maybe Laurita will end up being a source of support and resources to the many RHONJ viewers going through the same thing.
Are you surprised to hear about Jacqueline Laurita's son's autism diagnosis?
Image via Bravo