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Autism is Not a Shameful Secret

This blog post is by Jaqueline Laurita and was originally published here on

For those of you who don't know me, I'm one of the original cast members of Bravo's hit reality television series The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I signed on to this show back in 2008 without taking into consideration how much my life could change. I never stopped to think that there would be a greater purpose to it. You see, my 3-year-old son, Nicholas, has autism. We kept it under wraps until we could figure out what was wrong, and what we were going to do about it, but that time has come.

Honestly, I'm glad it's out there. I don't think people should be afraid or ashamed to share their struggles.
When you open up, you often find that it's the support and generosity of others that can provide the strength and tools you need to get through it. Ever since my husband, Chris, and I went public about our son's diagnosis in People magazine, the support has been overwhelming. Thousands of you have reached out to us with knowledge, resources, and success stories. Our family faces many challenges, just like any other family. Right now, one of our greatest happens to be helping Nicholas recover from autism—because I believe it's possible. 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.

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Lee Clower



The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.