Jenni “JWoww” Farley is focusing on making the world a more inclusive place for her son Greyson after he was diagnosed with autism.
The “Jersey Shore” star joined the board of KultureCity, an organization aimed to help children with autism and sensory disorders, and hopes to create sensory rooms in common public places such as airports.
Farley, 33, told Page Six she was introduced to the organization after a delayed flight with Greyson. The 2-year-old “just lost his mind with head butting, crying, bitting, pinching and screaming” Farley said, because he couldn’t understand why everyone was waiting by the gate.
“Later that evening I wrote a post on my private Facebook and I was just like, ‘Between the diagnosis and Greyson’s airplane experience, I just don’t think I’m ever gonna be able to fly with him until I can understand his sensory issue,’” she said. “It was really just like a heartfelt message to my friends and come to find out Tiki Barber’s wife who is Nicole [‘Snooki’ Polizzi]’s next door neighbor — Tiki and his wife Tracy — she reached out to me and was like, ‘Girl, you know I’m part of the KultureCity board and I’ll totally help you with sensory processing.’”
Soon after, Tracy helped Farley create a whole sensory room for Greyson to enjoy. From there, Farley started working with the organization and pitching them ideas on what else they could do to help children as she continues to learn more about the autism spectrum.
“I didn’t even understand sensory processing when Greyson was diagnosed and even with his therapy up to today like he has that sensory issue,” she explained. “He’s very deep compression seeking. He loves weighted blankets. Noises are a little bit of an issue and just mixed with the terrible twos, you got to try and figure out how to make his life better. So it’s just a blessing to have a company like this that just wants nothing but to help children like Greyson and adults. They have been a godsend truly because I’m still learning.”
Farley first revealed that Greyson was diagnosed with autism in November after “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” fans watched her break down over his developmental struggles on the show. She posted a video of the progress he’s made speaking shortly after the announcement and she frequently shares updates.
Now, her mission is to bring a sensory room to Newark Airport — specifically her favorite United terminal — and other high traffic places.
“Parents want to take their children and parents of multiple children like myself — one that has a sensory issue and one that doesn’t — a lot of times Grayson misses out on opportunities because he’s unable to go to a place that gets a little loud,” she explained. “So, let’s say I wanted to go to a WWE event and my daughter’s super excited and Grey loves it but there’s no place for him or there’s no let’s say sensory bag available for him. Then I might miss out on that opportunity or just avoid it at all costs or take Meilani. So my goal in life is to just to have all these events in the future have a place for someone like Greyson because then families will be able to enjoy this together.”
Farley shares Greyson and Meilani, 4, with her estranged husband Roger Mathews.
“Imagine all the families that don’t get to go to these type of events because they’re trying to avoid sounds, lights, noise or whatever the case may be, but then you’re able to because you’ll have this very small space compared to how big the facility is — it’s not going to take up much room at all — and it just makes everything really inclusive and perfect. So that’s my goal,” she added.
“I always say that for whatever reason I feel like Greyson chose me and it’s not like I was lost in life but I always wanted to know like what my bigger picture in life was. Even joining ‘Jersey Shore’ again … I just I didn’t know where my life, career, everything was going. And when I met KultureCity and they took me with like open arms, it just felt so right. And that’s exactly where I was like, ’10, 15, 20 years from now, this is where I want my life to be. This is like where I’m meant to be.’”