Sometimes life gets a little crazy. We get wrapped up in the everyday stresses and commotion, and tend to forget or overlook why we do what we do. Suddenly a lightening bolt of a reminder hits us, and our hearts, passion, and compassion are overflowing again. The following is one of those lightening bolts… Grab some tissues, you’re gonna need them.
My son is Logan. He’s 27 years old and has been out of the education system for five years. In those five years I searched high and low for a program in which to enroll him where he could have a social life and be challenged, but I failed. Like a computer slowly running out of room on its hard drive, Logan’s energy and responsiveness began to slow. We were praying for a miracle when we first heard about GiGi’s Playhouse possibly coming to our area. It sounded FAR too good to be true, but from the first moment he stepped through the door he came back to life again. The activities here are the highlights of his week, and he becomes more verbal and animated just hearing the word GiGi’s.
Logan’s challenges are complicated by autism, and at home he does not speak unless forced to do so. He relies on the family reading his mind at every turn, even though we try not to. But GiGi’s Prep Academy has lit a fire under this young man. He wants us engaged in his homework. He wants to talk about school and the food we’re eating. He is so excited the night before Prep he can hardly sleep, and for all the giggling he does you would think he was headed to Disneyland.
His eye contact is much improved, which for a kid with autism is a miracle in itself. He is voicing opinions we didn’t even know he had. We are all waking up to the hope that there can be more to his life than hanging out with mom.
I cannot thank you people enough for your service and volunteer spirit. If GiGi Prep were held every day, Logan would be there with bells on.
Are you familiar with the show Life Goes On? It was about a teenager with Down syndrome who was always up and ready before everyone else, sitting on his bed, holding his backpack, eager to jump into the day.
That was Logan back when he was in school. After a long downward spiral, thanks to GiGi Prep, that is Logan once more. Although no one’s life should be limited by the programs available to them, it is sadly true. I can only thank Heaven there is GiGi’s for us.
Thank you all!
Lesli, Logan’s mom.