We still don't know why, whether it's simply better reporting, something environmental or something else, but New Jersey continues to have the highest rate of autism in the country. By last year it was reported that 1 in 32 children in New Jersey were afflicted.

Two of my four children have autism. So while I've never been a fan of the old reality show "Jersey Shore" I've been a fan of Jenni "JWoww" Farley for quite some time.

Her 5-year-old son Greyson was diagnosed with autism at 2. She's been a champion of autism awareness and acceptance ever since.

Last week she was at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Barclay Center. The venue has opened a sensory room for those with sensory processing disorders, a common theme in autism. People with autism are often overstimulated by lights, sounds or activity. Some are understimulated and in order to regulate themselves may need various textures to touch, for one example.

Jenni says she remembers bringing Greyson at 2 to the Barclay Center for a WWE event and how he couldn't fully enjoy it due to his sensory issues. After at first feeling he would only suffer a speech delay with his diagnosis, she says, "I realized that autism was bigger than that. I realized that sensory needs and sensory issues were at play. Long story short, he couldn't fully enjoy the experience."

The new sensory room is named after her son. The Greyson Mathews Sensory Room is complete with bubble walls, activity panels, Nanoleaf visual light panels, Yogibo bean bags, etc... Farley formed a partnership with the Barclay Center and KultureCity to make it a reality. KultureCity works on inclusion and sensory accessibility for those with unseen disabilities.

Greyson attended last Tuesday's dedication ceremony with his mom along with his 7-year-old sister Meilani. The room will serve to comfort anyone with sensory needs attending events at the Barclay Center and we autism parents should be very grateful for the great work JWoww is doing.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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