Former "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Jacqueline Laurita says her young son with autism was kicked out of their local library for making noises, including "non contextual vocals and tapping."
Laurita, 47, posted videos on Facebook Sunday of her 8-year-old son Nicholas at their local public library in Franklin Lakes. He's seen taking individual DVD cases from the shelf, tapping each one on the back two times as he examines the cover; he's also heard making verbal sounds in another video.
Laurita tells her son, "You gotta keep it down, Nick."
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But the library staff asked them to leave, according to Laurita.
She wrote on Facebook, "Nicholas got kicked out of on his favorite spots (our PUBLIC library) this week. I guess non contexual vocals & tapping [twice] on the DVDs are frowned upon."
Laurita said her son had a "meltdown" as she struggled to get him to leave, and "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," she wrote. "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."
In a statement to NJ.com Monday, the library's board of trustees said, "Our policy of inclusion is demonstrated daily. Our staff has years of experience 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."
"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," the library's statement continued.
Laurita revealed in 2012 that Nicholas, then 3 years old, was diagnosed with autism a year earlier after initially hiding her son's medical condition from Bravo's cameras during filming of season four. Laurita and her husband, Chris Laurita, documented their family's new reality on "Real Housewives," publicly sharing their struggles and Nicholas' progress.
Laurita was a main cast member for several seasons, then left the show after the seventh season. She has a daughter, Ashley, 27, from a previous marriage and shares a son, 15-year-old CJ, with Chris.