Our Very Special Logan

THIS is the face of a special needs child.  Many people have tender hearts for special needs children and care deeply about the infinite blessing and value of their lives.  The caring and compassion of others is a blessing to me and to our family as a whole.  Logan senses immediately when someone really cares about him.
As someone who is acutely aware every day of the ‘differences’ and needs that make our Logan special,  I am also constantly reminded of the fact that at the core of his being, he is just a little boy who happens to deal with some challenges. Logan loves chocolate pudding, giggles, Buzz Lightyear, hugs, and music.  He eats but does not chew.  He still wears pull-ups at age 6.  He loves running and jumping, swinging and sliding, and riding toys.  He is totally at home on the beach but never plays in the sand.  He spends all of his time in the water, loving it and laughing when a wave smacks him in the face.

Logan is sometimes patient and tolerant and sometimes very much the opposite. For example, when the photographer moved him 3 times during the set-up for our family photo shoot, Logan began to lose his good humor. He probably was thinking, “Why can’t this guy figure out where to put me?”  Like other children his age, Logan had no inkling of how difficult it must be to pose a family of 8 with such a broad age range; but unlike other children, his reaction is 10 to the 15th power. At restaurants or other public places, Logan is often the perfect little gentleman.  At other times, he can be upset and loud. In this, he is not unlike other children his age, but his reactions are more extreme. When other people give our family “the look” in such a circumstance, I am sometimes tempted to tell them that Logan has special needs.  Not once during an outburst has anyone come up to us with the boldness and grace to ask, “How can I help you?”  On one occasion, the answer would have been as simple as going to find a restaurant employee to have them obtain the spoon that Logan needed to eat his food, but I am sure that many people are very hesitant to approach for fear of seeming intrusive.

 

Because I understand the hesitancy to intervene and because I don’t want to make assumptions about others, I have never looked at another patron and told them about Logan’s special needs.  There are two main reasons why I hesitate to publicly announce that Logan has autism, although I would have no problem answering any question posed in public. One reason that I don’t volunteer information about Logan is that I don’t want to make someone else feel badly. Their natural assumption that Logan is just a bratty kid does not mean that they are not kind-hearted people. Who knows what they are going through? Maybe this dinner out was to be an oasis of calm and a brief escape from the bedside of a loved one.
The second reason that I never want to verbally excuse his behavior by blaming his challenges is that to do so might imply that the fact that Logan has special needs makes him somehow LESS (less intelligent, less controllable, less patient, less valuable, less human, less capable of learning or of love, expression, or giftedness, somehow less than his same-age peers).  In truth, I have learned so much from loving Logan, and I know that he is in reality somehow MORE (more loving, more enthusiastic, more focused on what is truly important..like a half hour rocking with Mom…)

Logan as Buzz Lightyear

Logan is like a little mirror.  I see in him what I need more of and what I need to let go; what I need to work on, and what I need to just accept or allow myself to enjoy.  He is a priceless treasure.  I have learned to look beyond the seaweed and sand of issues and behaviors into his sea blue eyes, to the infinite value of his heart and soul.

I am still learning from my precious little teacher.  Yes, Logan has some special needs.  So do I.  I need to be more loving, more patient, more focused on what is true and just and lovely.  I need to keep learning to look beyond, to see the limitless value of each human life.

Logan is more than a clinical diagnosis.  He is a little boy.  He is my little sweetheart, and he is someone.  He is loved and valued deeply by his family and friends and by his Creator.  Yes, Logan is VERY SPECIAL!

*

UPDATE:  Since the facebook note that became the post above was written, there have been a lot of changes.  Logan is now 8 years old.  We left pull-ups behind long ago, and he has no problem voicing his need to go to the restroom.  Logan is doing very well in his Moderate Autism 3rd grade class.  He reads well, is doing double digit additiona and subtraction with re-grouping (borrowing or carrying), can count money and tell time, and he’s becoming more and more conversational in his speech.  Logan just started a new therapy program to overcome his extreme oral sensitivity so that he can begin to chew and eat normally, and we are excited about this opportunity for major progress.  Logan is a blessing!

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A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys

praise4ever

praise4ever

I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

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