Proud mama Jac tweeted a sweet update early on June 11: “Happy Birthday Nicholas!!! My little boy is 5 years old today!We r so proud of his accomplishments! He works so hard everyday&brings us joy!”
Hopefully the family has a fun day planned for the birthday boy, including good times with his big brother, CJ. (The photo at right is from his 4th b-day last year.)
Jacqueline has said CJ, who is 12 this year, is a great role model for his little brother and a great help in living with Nicholas’s autism.
As she said last year, “[W]hen I see the two brothers together, playing with blocks on the living room floor, I realize it was CJ who taught us to treat him like any other kid,” Jacqueline said. “He is the best therapist Nick could ever have."
Jac won't be featured on the upcoming RHoNJ Season 6, but Nicholas's autism was featured in Season 5.
As Jacqueline explained in her Bravo blog last June, "Soon after filming Season 4, my son was diagnosed with Autism as we had suspected. As much as we prepared ourselves for that diagnosis, nothing could have prepared us for when we heard those words and we saw it in black and white on a piece of paper. It was heartbreaking.”
She added, “I feel that people should be educated on what Autism is, to be able to understand it and empathize with others affected by it. Autism doesn't just affect the child, it affects the whole family and those close to them. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills. They may also exhibit some various kinds of repetitive behaviors. They are also very loving and intelligent individuals. 1 in 50 children are diagnosed with Autism every year. Something needs to be done about this." Jacqueline said she wishes she could have a highlighted map of what path she needs to take to help her son, but instead it's trial and error and they learn as they go.
Nicholas is now five years into his journey, and hopefully his life will be filled with more joy and happiness. He’s a lot more than his diagnosis — he’s a cool little dude, and we hope he’s having his best birthday yet!
Catch the Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 6 premiere on Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET.