Former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jacqueline Laurita is claiming her son Nicholas, who suffers from autism, was unfairly kicked out of their local library for making noise this week. In a series of video posts, the reality star details the upsetting experience, and reveals that no one offered to help when her eight-year-old had a meltdown in the public space.
"So… Nicholas got kicked out of one of his favorite spots (our PUBLIC library) this week. I guess non-contextual vocals and tapping [twice] on the DVDs are frowned upon. He had a meltdown as I struggled to get him to leave. Not one person offered or tried to help, or even opened the door for us. They just watched me struggle to get him out… as asked," she wrote. "My heart hurt so bad for the both of us after I got him out of there. The day before he had such a great experience there. I wish everyone understood autism." Watch the video above for a look at Nicholas' day at the library.
However, Jacqueline reassured fans she was going to fight back against the alleged discrimination. "Sitting home right now, thinking about what happened at @franklinlakeslibrary and I am NOT ok with this," she added. "#TimeForChange! #TimeForInclusion! #TimetoSpeakUp! #TimeForAction. Determined to make a difference."
View this post on Instagram
Our Nicholas has been anxiously counting down the days to his 8th Birthday on his wall calendar! It's finally here!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICHOLAS!! He woke up excited this morning. First thing he said, with a big smile, was, "I want Happy Birthday presents". He seemed happy with his gifts, but after opening them he said, "I want to go to Toys R Us!" (I guess I missed a few things he wanted) He picked out a few more DVDs, a rainbow lollipop (Not part of his diet plan) Cotton Candy (Also not part of the diet plan) and a Frozen figurine. So far it's been a good day! We are out driving around letting him lead. It's one of his favorite things to do. Who knows where we will end up. Later we will celebrate with family. This kid works so hard everyday! He's constantly learning and progressing! He's a very happy and handsome boy and we are SO VERY PROUD of him! He's surrounded by love and support, and I thank you all for yours as well! Nicholas took us all on a different journey than we expected, but It's opened up so many new experiences, taught us a lot about life, and we've met so many great people because of it! We love you Nicholas! 😍❤️#EightIsGreat #HappyBirthday
As expected, followers showed their support for the mother-of-three on the social media platform. "Absolutely unacceptable!!! They should be ashamed," one fan wrote before another added, "We as parents of #autisticchildren should not feel afraid to go places with our children! They are people too! They deserve fair treatment!" To make matters worse, April is Autism Awareness Month — something employees at the library definitely lacked.
The Bravo beauty has been very open about her son's developmental disorder since his diagnosis at age three. "It was very hard to see your son taking a gradual decline in his developmental milestones," she told Entertainment Tonight last year. "He was completely tuned out to us; he wouldn’t even answer to his name. I came to terms before my husband did."
Despite the setback, Nicholas has come a long way since his diagnosis. "[He] makes a lot of eye contact, he has a lot of words in his vocabulary now, he is starting to put together sentences, he reads very well above his age," Jacqueline added. "He is much more engaged and we see progress all the time with him." #JusticeForNicholas!