Since publicly sharing the news that her youngest child, Nicholas, has autism, Real Housewife Jacqueline Laurita has been offering support and information to fellow moms looking for help, answers or just a comforting word.
In her premiere column, Jacqueline summarizes her story: Nicholas, once a bright toddler, began regressing in his behaviors when he was around two. After a long wait to see a specialist, Jacqueline and her husband, Chris, got the news they dreaded: Nicholas was on the autism spectrum.
Now Jacqueline is doing everything in her power to help her son, including getting him into an early intervention program, putting him on a special diet and trying new therapies. The latest: a home hyperbaric chamber that exposes Nicholas to a higher barometric pressure and increases his oxygen uptake. The therapy has shown promise in some studies.
The reality star is also encouraged by a recent study suggesting some children with autism “grow out of” the worst of their symptoms with age. It’s an outcome Jacqueline hopes to see one day in her son. “Right now, one of our greatest [challenges] happens to be helping Nicholas recover from autism – because I believe it’s possible,” she writes. “Maybe not all children will recover, but many have, and all of us parents with a child on the spectrum should be given that hope.”
She and Chris reject the suggestion that they should keep their son’s condition private. “[W]e feel strongly that autism is not a shameful secret,” she explains. “…We are not ashamed of him or the diagnosis. We don’t ever want him to feel ashamed either.”
While some may roll their eyes at the antics of the women of the Real Housewives series, Jacqueline credits her show with giving her a following and a forum for her message.
“I often wonder what led me to this life as a reality TV personality in a seemingly meaningless, drama-filled series,” she says. “I didn’t know it would be a platform to help others.”
Check out her blog at Parenting.com!
[Photo: via Twitter]
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