What an upsetting story.
On Sunday, Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Jacqueline Laurita took to social media to share that she and son Nicholas were asked to leave the Franklin Lakes Library. Apparently, Laurita’s autistic eight-year-old was making “non contextual vocals and tapping,” which caused their removal from the public space.
So..Nicholas got kicked out of one of his favorite spots(our PUBLIC library)this week. I guess non contextual vocals & tapping 2ce on the DVD’s 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. 😔 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 . Time to go back and educate them! Time for inclusion. #autismawareness #autismawarenessmonth #ChrisAndJacFightBackA post shared by Jacqueline Laurita (@jaclaurita) on Apr 8, 2018 at 1:16pm PDT
Sitting home right now, thinking about what happened at @franklinlakeslibrary and I am NOT ok with this! #TimeForChange! #TimeForInclusion #TimeToSpeak Up #TimeForAction Determined to make a difference! #ChrisAndJacFightBackA post shared by Jacqueline Laurita (@jaclaurita) on Apr 8, 2018 at 2:03pm PDT
Although Nicholas is seen making some noise (above), Jacqueline did everything in her power to keep the youngster calm and aware of his surroundings. Not only did the 47-year-old advise her boy to “keep it down,” she also informed him to lower his voice amid groans. Since autism is a developmental disorder that impairs communication skills, that isn’t an easy request for Nicholas to follow through on.
Jacqueline and her husband Chris first realized that Nicholas wasn’t reaching developmental milestones at age 18 months. By three years old, the young Laurita was diagnosed with autism.
In response to the scandal, the Franklin Lakes Library has since released the following statement:
“Our policy of inclusion is demonstrated daily. Our staff has years of expertise catering to patrons who are physically challenged, visual or hearing impaired, as well as special education students from our public school system, and developmentally delayed children and adults.
We welcome all visitors and we happily accommodate everyone. No patron is ever asked to leave the Library unless and until their actions are depriving other patrons of the ability to enjoy our services.”
Unsurprisingly, this response has not sat well with the Lauritas. In fact, Mr. Laurita took to his own Facebook page and dropped a lengthy note. He wrote:
Way to stand up for your family, man!! As for Jacqueline, she clarified that her uploads were not meant to “to attack the Franklin Lakes Library,” rather she just wanted to raise awareness about intolerance. We mean, IT IS Autism Awareness Month after all!
She explained online:
We are honestly just impressed with the Lauritas’ transparency about raising a child with special needs. Keep fighting the good fight!!
[Image via Instagram.]