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Merrimack Valley

February 21, 2014

A birthday like no other

Mother sparks a global outpouring in celebration of autistic son


James Pearson estimates Logan has received a couple thousand pieces of mail, with more arriving daily.

O’Connell wonders if the senders realize they are part of something global that has united people from all over the world.

“If someone sends something from Great Britain, do they know it’s coming from Japan, too?” he said.

In addition to the birthday wishes for Logan, many people have also taken the opportunity to pass a message on to his parents.

“One of the ones that touched us the most was a woman who related to us that she, too, had a son with autism, and she had experienced the same kinds of feelings,” James Pearson said. “She said, ‘In honor of both my son and yours, I’m going to send Logan a birthday card every year.’”

The woman is not alone, with others pledging to continue sending Logan birthday cards annually, which his father said “will be exciting to see.”

The experience has also led to a request from Autism Speaks for Cathy Pearson to start a blog and share “what it is like to raise a child so severely impacted with autism.”

While the family recognizes that Logan likely doesn’t understand the significance of the response he has sparked, they said they do. And they believe Logan realizes something special is occurring, too.

“We’re at the point where we believe he understands more than we give him credit for. I know for sure he responds to us being excited,” James Pearson said. “For that reason, we still want to do something for him.”

So tomorrow, the family will be going out to eat at one of Logan’s favorite restaurants — Fuddruckers in North Andover.

But this will not be like their past trips to the restaurant.

Logan and his family will be escorted there by officers from the Andover, North Andover and Cambridge police departments, according to Andover Police Lt. Edward Guy. The police departments are footing the bill for the family’s meal as well.

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