One of my two year old twins, Logan, has autism, SPD, very significant food allergies, and seizures. The twin brother, Colton, does not. It has been interesting to me, in the nine months since Logan’s diagnosis, the various things people have said in response to that. A neighbor come into my home once and told me, “Oh, what a shame that Logan is that way. But what a comfort it must be that you were able to have one twin that’s not got problems. At least you have Colton and the other kids.” At the time, I was so angry, I invited this neighbor to leave and never come back. But that incident provoked a whole thought process in my brain which turned out to be a good thing!
Yes, Logan has autism. Logan has sensory issues. Logan has food allergies that are so significant that they can ( and have) cause anaphylactic shock. He is the only two year old I know that has a twinject prescription that has unlimited refills. But even with all that, more importantly, he is my son.
I do not love Logan any less than I love Colton or my five other children simply because he has autism and other issues. I do not love Colton more because he does NOT have learning delays, or allergies. While I do have to do things differently for Logan because of his special needs, it does not change the fact that he’s my son.
When I write about Logan on our blog, or introduce him to someone, I do not say, “ This is Logan, he has autism.”. I say, “This is my son, Logan.” You see, that thought process which my neighbor provoked, inspired me to search within myself and come to some carved in stone realizations.
Autism does not define my son. Autism is not the sum of his existence. What autism has done for our family, however, is taught us to sit back and enjoy the little things. Milestones that my other children hurdled as a matter of course, are now something we celebrate. Not because Logan has autism, but because Logan has mastered something new after days, weeks, sometimes months of practice and struggle, without every giving up. We have learned that a victory is a victory, no matter where you are in life.
Logan is not “that way”. Logan is Logan, and that’s all he will ever be. Just as I am me, and you are you. It’s as simple as that. Yes, Logan has therapy to help him. So what? I have spell check to help me, because I have fingers that like to type before I finish a thought. Both therapy and spell check are tools. Everyone has different ones, for different reasons, and it makes you no less of a person, by using them.
Loving your child is all encompassing. Whether the child walks or talks or grows up to be President of the United States, he/she will ALWAYS be your child, and you will always be your child’s parent.
Now, when someone “consoles” me because I have Logan, I simply say, “Why are you consoling me? Logan is a gift. He’s my son.”