• Sun, Feb 23 - 1:00 pm ET

Boy With Autism Receives Thousands Of Birthday Cards After Facebook Appeal

birthday surprise

Here is Logan (far right) with his brother and sister (Facebook)

I love sharing heartwarming stories like this next one. Logan, a 12-year-old boy from Massachusetts, who according to his mom Cathy Pearson, is severely autistic, received over 3,000 birthday cards (and counting!) as well as a surprise party thrown by area cops after Pearson sent out an appeal on Facebook to make her son’s birthday memorable.

Last month Pearson wrote a beautiful Facebook post explaining that her son’s birthdays have always been a somber affair as he is non-verbal and doesn’t have a single friend. Excuse me while I fight off these onion cutting ninjas…

birthday surprise

Facebook

Pearson didn’t expect the outpouring of love she received. As I write this the original post has 165 shares, and the family has received thousands of cards from all over the world. The post was seen by plenty of regular folks, but also by some notable people in the area who decided to help.

birthday surprise

Facebook

 

In addition to the attorney above, Officer Steven Bikofsky, of the Cambridge Police department saw the appeal on his news feed and decided to organize a special birthday party for Logan:

“We couldn’t let his birthday go by without something special for him.”

 

Yesterday, police from various departments across the state attended a surprise bash for Logan at a Fuddruckers (which is delicious an awesome BTW) where he received a ton of cool gifts, a cake and even a police escort.

The Pearson family is understandably touched and overwhelmed by the reaction they’ve received:

“In the past we’d like take him out to ice cream or something, but now it’s like a big day for him. As a mom it just makes me so happy for him. And for my kids to see how special he is. Not just to us, but to the community.”

I love stories like this. With all the negative stuff in life, it’s nice to see people step up to make someone’s life better. I hope this tradition continues for Logan so he never has to have another lonely birthday again.

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  • Bethany Ramos

    Dammit, Frances!! I am PMSing today and crying like a baby about this story.

    • Crusty Socks

      To much TMI

    • Bethany Ramos

      #truth

  • Véronique Houde

    God… I don’t know if I’m so touched by this… It seems to me that receiving cards from strangers is slightly meaningless to a person, and comes from a place of pity from the strangers who took the time to write those cards. I mean, the kid is non-verbal and doesn’t have friends – to him, does he really realize that his birthday isn’t “special”, or is this a mom’s feelings that she projected onto her son?
    I don’t have an autistic child and will never say that I can understand the isolation and struggle that this mom must face, but if I had been in her place, I would have wondered what my autistic son really WANTED for his birthday and try to accommodate that. Does he WANT and NEED friends (depending on the severity of his condition)? Then I would try and find a group of similar kids that he might get along with. But if friends are just not on his registry, why is it a big deal?

    • Ptownsteveschick

      Thank goodness I’m not the only one. I am much more likely to try and teach my kid that having a small group of people who truly know and care about you is much more important that having a huge bunch of virtual strangers tell you happy birthday. Relationships/holidays/etc are always more about quality than quantity. This is the second one of these stories where I really felt like it was an attention grab thing for the parents, and maybe not exactly the best idea for the kid’s sake.

    • AmazingAsh

      Is the second story you’re referencing the “Happy Birthday Colin” story? If so, the two are apples and oranges. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sending someone you don’t know a card saying, “Happy Birthday” or showing a stranger that you care. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel alone or uncared for, no matter how severe their disability.

    • Rachel Sea

      I sent a card, not because I think Logan cares, because his mom does. Caring for someone with special needs can be so isolating, and so terrifying at times…I’m sure there are many nights where she lies awake in fear of the future. If my sending her a card gives her a tangible assurance that she is not alone, and there are others outside her immediate bubble who care for Logan, she can probably sleep a little easier, which will help her be the best mom she can be.

      I hope also that the cards make Logan’s siblings feel good. When mom and dad die, it’s likely that responsibility for Logan will fall to them, and they also need to know that they are not alone.

  • anon

    I read an article saying just this recently – and of course didn’t bookmark, nor can I find it because all the top google stories are “yippee”. I completely agree with you.

    And 10 to 1 this kid is being mainstreamed. While I understand the sentiment behind it, is it really always the best thing? How many “different” kids in mainstreamed classes face this kind of thing everyday? Wouldn’t they be better off in an environment where they are more likely to find a friend and not a pity party?

    • Rachel Sea

      The second post referenced makes me think that Logan may be at a residential school, but that aside, mainstreaming doesn’t mean what it used to. Mainstream public schools have separate tracks for kids with disabilities. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are designed collectively by the administration, parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists to ensure that each child is getting the best education they can. When a child goes to a mainstream school, they are integrated into their community. Residential schools, and special schools can be very isolating, cutting people off from their family, their best advocates.

      A child like Logan, who is not verbal, who lacks complex communication skills, and does not understand social cues, is especially vulnerable to mistreatment. Frequent contact with a loving family is the best security against a myriad of harms.

  • Bunny Lucia

    My question is if he is non-verbal he has severe enough autism that one would think that diverging from a schedule would set him off severely.

    I know that every case of autism is different, and some can cope with having no schedule or a change of plans, but most freak the hell out when something doesn’t go according to plan.

  • Crusty Socks

    Should have asked for money