Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images Photo: Jacqueline Laurita Attends the 2011 Bravo Upfront

It hasn’t been an easy year for Jacqueline Laurita. Between the end of her friendship with Teresa Giudice and the difficult choice she made to ask her daughter Ashlee to leave the New Jersey home she shares with husband Chris Laurita, this housewife has had more than her fair share of heartache.

And now — in an exclusive interview with People magazine — Jacqueline revealed that her three-year-old son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with autism. After Nick began regressing with his speech and motor skills when he was about 18-months-old, Jac knew something was up.

We had no idea what was going on,” she revealed.

Credit: Photo via Twitter Photo: Nicholas Smiles For Aunt Caroline Manzo

After taking him to see multiple doctors, Nicholas — who had also stopped answering to his name — was diagnosed with autism. 

The diagnoses hit the Lauritas hard. “You never want to think that your child isn't perfectly healthy. We didn't want to believe it was true,” Chris said.

And while Jacqueline has since spent much of her time doing extensive research about Nicholas’s condition, she also admits that she fears for his future, saying, “I worry about him being independent when he's older.”

In the midst of the diagnoses, Jacqueline has sprung into action, offering to host a benefit for the foundation, Autism Speaks, at The Brownstone  on September 20. To purchase tickets or make a donation, click here.

Source: People