Start of our new normal

It was becoming difficult to take Logan into any type of structured setting where he would be expected to act like the other kids. When Logan was young he wouldn't play with toys. He liked to open and close cabinet doors, stick his head into the toilet to watch the water drip from his hair...more than anything! Our home was starting to look like Ft. Knox. We were not trying to keep anyone out. We were desperately trying to keep Logan in, and out of anything dangerous.

My husband James and I both had to figure out how we could still stay connected with our friends, Church, and family. This was probably the beginning of realizing how isolating it can be when caring for someone with a severe disability. Autism affects Logan in a way that is not often talked about. It's not the "Rain Man" like autism where we could take him out gambling and have him memorize cards, etc! Ha! No, we are working with a sweet little guy who is growing bigger and stronger but cognitively he is stuck at a very young 18 months. He likes to put EVERYTHING into his mouth. That means we have to hide the remote control, because he will take out the batteries and try to chew them up. We have to put safety locks on the car doors because he will try to open the car door when driving down the road. Yikes!

He does not have an awareness of danger at all. Our younger two kids were born soon after Logan was first diagnosed with autism. We struggled with balancing Logan's constant care/ supervision with also being great parents to our other two children. Often special needs parents will tell you that the other kids can feel neglected, or that they don't feel like they are loved as much as the child with a disability. We made sure that we took the other two aside to teach them about Logan and why he was doing the things he was doing. We told Cloey and Ethan that we were CHOSEN to care for Logan. We as a family have to come together and be the best family for him. If he wets the bed, we do not scold him. Its a simple matter of changing the bedding (EVERY. SINGLE. DAY for early 18 years...) LOL. That's just how things were going to be for us. We had to learn early on to make some lemonade out of our lemons. Maybe some Mikes Hard Lemonade would have been nice.... Ha! Every once in a while we would start to feel so isolated at home that we would try to take the kids (including our turkey Logan) out to a restaurant. I can literally count on one hand the number of times we have tried this. It never ends well.

One time.... Logan was about 5 and we were eating at a Mexican Restaurant (our favorite) and Logan started making all sorts of loud noises and baby babbling. It may be cute for a baby, but when it is coming from a bigger kid.... trust me the glares and staring were overwhelming. Finally, I made eye-contact with a lady why was trying to figure our son out. Without skipping a beat, I said, "He's speaking German." She let out a sigh and shook her head as if to say "Now, that makes sense." Ha!! It worked. James and I were dying laughing and we all enjoyed our meal. Once others felt they understood the situation, they were comfortable to go back to eating their lunch. At that point, I too finally felt comfortable enough to relax a little and enjoy this rare family experience. He's German. That explains it. Whew. Next time we would order take out.

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