A video surfaced Sunday of the son of a Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member being told to quiet down in the Franklin Lakes Public Library.
An Instagram post by Jacqueline Laurita shows her son, Nicholas, who has autism, in the video section of the library looking at different DVDs. In the short video, someone is heard saying “shh” and “quiet” after Nicholas pulls out a DVD, looks at it and taps it with his hand, making a sudden noise.
Laurita, a Franklin Lakes resident, said a staff member later asked her and Nicholas to leave. No staff member was seen in the video attempting to help Nicholas.
“He had a meltdown as I struggled to get him to leave,” Laurita said in the Instagram post. “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.”
In another Instagram video, Laurita said she was “not ok” with the incident at the library. It appears to have happened last week based on the post times. Her two videos have accumulated more than 26,000 views.
Laurita previously spoke out publicly about handling their autistic child in an interview. Laurita and her husband Chris took Nicholas to get evaluated by a developmental pediatrician in 2012. Since the diagnosis, the Lauritas have dedicated their time to helping families dealing with autism through charity events and speaking events.
“So I would like to hear YOUR side of this story,” commented a woman under the Facebook page of Franklin Lakes Public Library. “Because in the video I saw, he tapped each DVD case (not even the DVD itself) twice, and put each one back exactly where he had found it. Was he disturbing others? Were other people complaining about him?”
“So many people reached out to share their stories and resources with us when Nicholas was diagnosed. I don’t know how we would have gotten through without that,” Laurita said. “So whatever I’ve learned and whatever resources I have, I want to share that with other families.”
The video can be viewed here.