By Melissa Lake – Guest Contributor
All autistic children have one favorite person. For Logan, it happens to be his older sister Chelsea. He listens to her more than most anybody else. When Logan goes to stay with her, especially when Daddy is out of town, it means a complete night of deep sleep. He and his sister have a strong bond that cannot be broken. When they’re together, I do not have any worries that he will be abused, neglected or even lost with his running attempts. Chelsea has different rules at her home than I do, and he enjoys the challenge of changing over to hers so he can spend time with her and his baby niece, Aurora.
While Chelsea is his “first favorite person,” Logan has other favorite people. When Logan goes on his special days with his Daddy, he is full of joy. Lately, they have a personal favorite restaurant and my husband will take all three of the boys, so I can get a few things done. I sometimes get really nervous and call a few too many times to check on them, but as long as the medications and rules are being followed, it can make for a very successful day. Their dad also likes to take each boy out separately for a day when he is home (he often works long jobs out of town), so they don’t have to compete for time with him. Logan’s father has a big truck and they go do fun stuff at Chuck E. Cheese, among other places.
He also adores his Grandmother Anita, and Grandfather Larry. In fact, when Logan unexpectedly runs off, it’s usually to their house. That’s just one reason I keep them on speed dial. Thankfully, they’re only two doors away, and have a loving support for his needs and are always stocked with his favorite treats.
Logan is having less and less meltdowns, and he has now joined a medical therapy bus, which comes to our town monthly for Skype therapy. He is able to sit in a cramped room as we discuss several options for his at home therapy, then we are able to take him back to school right afterwards, which is his choice because he wants to see his friends.
But I have two important updates to report. The first is that Logan is no longer worried about McDonald’s. We leave the driveway and explain to him where we’re going and what we are going to do, and as McDonalds nears, if it is a drive through dinner event, we will sing the “Subway Eat Fresh” song. The other day he wanted ice cream from McDonald’s, and I wanted to keep the stress level down so I ordered his regular cheeseburger kid’s meal with a chocolate shake. He ate the fries and drank his shake, probably took one bite of the burger and had no interest in eating it. THIS IS BIG!
The greatest breakthrough of all so far came a few days ago when Logan read to me from a book for the very first time!!!!! I was helping him with a book called “G is for Goat.” I pointed to the words on the pages and he would say them aloud, and he started reading the whole sentences. Then he just kept going. Now he’s reading more books. I can’t even begin to tell you what a spectacular leap this is to the next level. He’s now making progress in his math skills as well. I truly believe that anything else he wants do is possible and will happen in its own time.
For those who read this and want to know more, please feel free to ask. Your comments are welcome and appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you!