“His first proper word was ‘triangle,’ which we had waited patiently on for over 2 years. Not mama, dada, up, or down. Triangle. His obsession with shapes became evident and was his first noticeable obsession. He especially loved star shapes, which he carried almost everywhere with him as playing with them kept him calm and regulated. Christmas was extremely overwhelming for him so while out and about, quite a few Christmas trees in shopping centers, doctors’ surgeries, etc., became a few stars less. It was easier to give them to him than endure another meltdown of complete sensory overload in crowded areas.
That Christmas, Santa got him a chalkboard, which is when we began to witness the true side of things: his autism. Not in the negative way we hear and read about everywhere. What we were witnessing was truly amazing.
Our 2-year-old little boy, who was unable to communicate his needs to us, began to read anything we wrote on the chalkboard. Words, names, sentences — we were blown away! It was then we finally admitted to ourselves and subsequently quickly came to terms with the obvious fact Logan had undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Needless to say, we reached out for help immediately and began the assessment process. Within a few weeks, we also discovered not only was 2-year-old Logan able to read, but he also began to write, all self-taught. His favorite tool to write on was his Magna doodle, as he didn’t have to lean too heavily. Beautiful writing he had, too! Towards the beginning of his school years, he was assessed by a fabulous educational psychologist just before his fourth birthday. Meltdowns and communication problems aside, he passed all tests in terms of intellect. ‘My highest ever score,’ I remember her telling me. She diagnosed him with Hyperlexia, which explained his ability to read and write way beyond his years.
During his first year of primary school, I will never forget the day his teacher came out of the classroom to me at home time and handed me a mini whiteboard. In his spare time that day, Logan had taken it, numbered it from one to ten, and the rest was covered in symbols that were unrecognizable to me. I had no idea what I was supposed to be looking at or why she had handed it to me to. She said he had written the numbers one through ten in Japanese. She knew they were all correct, as she had researched them online before I arrived. That was the start of his next amazing obsession.
At 4 years of age, Logan began to teach himself the Japanese language through apps he was able to download on his tablet. We were mind-blown and extremely proud! With so much early intervention, Logan is now 7 years old, fully verbal, and extremely intelligent but still unable to attend his local school with his brother. The negative aspects of autism are holding him back in many other areas. That’s okay. He will get there. Some day, he will have a best friend or friends, but one thing’s for sure: he is a little genius. Genius’ do tend to be different, but not less.
To highlight the worries and wonders that come with autism, we opened up our Instagram and Facebook blogs in early 2019 in order to raise much-needed autism awareness, showcase family life with autism always at the forefront, and emphasize not all autism diagnosis’ are the same. If you meet one person with autism, you meet one person with autism. No two have ever been discovered to be the same.
This is only our outlook on our journey with autism. Logan is on the higher end of the spectrum and therefore our experiences with it may be completely different than those on the opposite end. As many journeys as possible need to be heard in order for this world to understand.
Our goal as his parents is for Logan to grasp an understanding and therefore firm hold of his autism through time with age and maturity. Then he can take on the world in his own style. There may be no cure for autism, but he hopes he can one day have full control over it. Optimism is pushing our family on in this whirlwind of a journey.
Our friend, Carmel, has always said, from the time Logan was about 3 years old, he is going to be a brain surgeon when he grows up. She describes him as, ‘A totally fascinating dude who blows me away with his genius.’
Without autistic people, this world would be a much duller place. Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Hans Christian Anderson, Steve Jobs, and Michelangelo were all on the spectrum and all have had a huge mark on the world. Who knows, perhaps someday Logan Doyle will have his name up there with these celebrities.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Clodagh Doyle. You can follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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