In an emotional Instagram post, Jenni “JWoww” Farley celebrated her son, Greyson, 6, starting school this year. In a heartfelt post, the “Jersey Shore” star expressed how proud she was of Greyson and detailed her emotions about him beginning school.
“I took the last 6 years for granted because I never thought the day would come that you would be going to school,” Farley wrote in the September 5 Instagram post. “I always thought you would be by my side or doing therapy in the other room.”
She continued, “But tomorrow begins a chapter for you and I’m struggling to keep it together. Tears roll down my face writing this as you lay fast asleep next to me. Words cannot express how proud I am of you … you have worked so hard for this moment and I wont let my fears get in the way of you conquering school.”
Farley first revealed to Hollywood Life in November 2018 that Greyson had been diagnosed with autism after missing developmental milestones. Farley and her family have brought viewers along for their journey by chronicling it on “Jersey Shore Family Vacation.”
Farley has two children with ex-husband Roger Mathews: Meilani, 8, and Greyson. In a September 6 Instagram post, Farley posted both kids’ first day of school pictures.
Using Her Platform
Since Greyson’s diagnosis, Farley has become an advocate for the autism community. She’s sat on the board for KultureCity, an autism advocacy group specializing in accessibility and sensory inclusivity, since 2019. In a recent “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” episode, Farley opened up about how much she had to learn after Greyson’s diagnosis.
“When I got the autism diagnosis, I actually didn’t realize there was a sensory issue attached to autism,” she explained. “I just thought there was going to be a delay in speech. As a parent figuring out what autism is, we didn’t know what the spectrum involved and it’s a very overwhelming experience.”
During the episode, Greyson was honored at KultureCity’s first-ever Kulture Gala. Co-stars Mike “The Situation” and Lauren Sorrentino; Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi; Deena Cortese and husband Chris Bucker; and Farley’s fiance Zack “24” Carpinello attended the Gala to support Farley and her family. Farley and her daughter Meilani gave speeches at the gala.
Meilani stole the show – at the Gala and during the episode – with her speech. After saying she didn’t know how to give a speech, she then continued “I’m really glad I have a brother like this.”
KultureCity is the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities, according to the organization’s website. Farley found the organization after a negative experience in an airport.
“He was non-verbal and when our flight was delayed, he just lost it.” “I didn’t know how to handle the situation and everyone just stared and it was so uncomfortable,” she told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
“My goal … is to make every airport sensory inclusive certified so no family goes through what I went through,” Farley said during her Kulture Gala speech.
Viewers and social media followers have appreciated her honesty about having a child with autism. Since Greyson’s diagnosis she has consistently shared any time Greyson has hit big milestones, like going from nonverbal to speaking or even reading.
After the “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” episode featuring the Kulture Gala, users flooded the social media platform Reddit’s “Jersey Shore” thread with positive comments.
“It was great to see a glimpse of what Jenny does with charity. They need more episodes like that, showing some of their real lives,” one user wrote.
Farley’s Instagram followers appreciate her raising autism awareness and showered Farley with support on her post about Greyson starting school – a lot of them saying they can identify with her as a parent of a child with autism.
“Hugs mama, you and your baby have this! (Also a mom of a child on the spectrum),” one user commented.
Another commented, “My son is also almost six, I was pregnant at the same time as you, his name is also Greyson, and he was also diagnosed with autism around the same time as Greyson. Thank you for using your platform to advocate the message that gets lost among special needs families – we are the lucky ones.”