Jersey Shore: Family Vacation's Jenni "JWoww" Farley posted a touching video of her son Greyson on Monday, showing how he is learning communication skills as part of his treatment for autism.
Farley's son was diagnosed with autism just last month, at 2-and-a-half years old. The celebrity mom has sprung into action, posting about the adjustments she has made to help Greyson and ensure that he has the tools he needs to communicate clearly and effectively.
On Monday, this included a video of the toddler practicing sharing, asking questions and making requests. The clip showed Greyson and Farley sitting at a table handing an apple and a cell phone back and forth. In a patient yet firm tone, Farley guided her son through asking for what he wanted and giving up what he had when someone else needed it.
"[Greyson Matthews] Learning patience, giving up an item, requesting without throwing a tantrum," she wrote. Farley tagged her son's Instagram account as well as the We Care Autism Services account.
The video shows Farley walking a fine line of encouragement and discipline. At no point does she scold her son, showing a dedication to teaching by example. Greyson seems to understand the point of the exercise as well, concentrating hard on his selections. After his diagnosis, Farley told Hollywood Life about some of the help she was getting for Greyson.
“He has co-therapies [every] week but we’re going to step it up a notch soon and get him ABA [Applied Behavior Analysis] treatments, speech therapy,” she said.
All the work seems to be paying off, as she said that her son has already “made leaps and bounds when it comes to speech.”
“He’s understanding words better which was his issue," she went on. "Not that he couldn’t speak, but he would never know what his shoe is or if you said, ‘Greyson,’ he actually didn’t even know his name at one point until he was a little over two."
Greyson is fortunate, as the understanding and treatment of autism has also taken leaps and bounds in recent years. Autism is considered a developmental disorder that impairs social interaction, communication and causes repetitive behavior. In 2013, the definition was broadened into the autism spectrum disorder, which includes previously separate distinctions such as Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder.
Still, for Farley, it was sad news to receive about her younger child. On the first episode of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation earlier this year, she discussed Greyson's struggles somewhat mournfully.
“It was really heartbreaking and frustrating as a mom when you see other two-year-olds that are speaking and living their best life,” she said. “Greyson is living his best life. He just doesn’t know what you are saying!”