Taking Literacy to the Next Level


Dr. Marion Blank is a developmental psychologist with a specialization in language and learning, director of the A Light on Literacy Program in the Department of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University, and a consultant to government bureaus in England, Canada, … Continue reading

Study Supports Personalized Interventions & Tablet Use


Researchers at UCLA found that children with autism who face bigger challenges when it comes to speaking and communicating can actually develop those skills through personalized interventions and the use of tablets and apps. The study spanned over three years … Continue reading

Police; Facebook friends give 12 year-old his first big birthday bash

Logan Pearson, and police officer friend at his 12th Birthday Bash

Logan Pearson is turning 12 on February 24th and for the first time in his life, with the help of Facebook friends and area police; he celebrated his birthday in a grand style.

As reported by CBS Boston, this past Saturday, Logan, a severely autistic and non-verbal boy from Andover got the birthday bash any twelve year old would love.

Logan’s Sister, Cloey said  “In the past we’d like take him out to ice cream or something.  But now it’s like the big day for him.”

“As far as his birthdays in the past, they’ve always been a sad quiet day,” Logan’s said Logan’s mom, Catherine. She indicated throwing a traditional party was never really possible, but she decided to do something different to mark his twelfth birthday.

Turning to Facebook the post went viral when she asked for birthday cards and wishes. Logan wound up not only with thousands of messages and buckets of cards , but a very big admirer at the Cambridge Police Department.

Cambridge police officer Steven Bikofsky  said “(The post) was brought to my attention by my better half, my girlfriend.  When I realized he was in Andover, I knew he was a special boy and I figured we’d do something special for him.”

Officer Bikofsky planned a surprise birthday celebration for Logan at the North Andover Fuddruckers with cake, gifts, and Police from 10 different departments across Massachusetts joining in to celebrate.

Andover police Lt. Edward Guy said, “If it didn’t tug at your heart strings, you didn’t have a heart.”

Logan was given the VIP treatment of police cruisers in a motorcade escort to the celebration.

“It just exploded into this police escort to just show Logan how important he is,” beamed Catherine. “I just can’t believe it.”

“Logan is loved around the world, so it’s not a sad birthday anymore,” said Catherine, who was humbled by the generosity and the birthday party for her son which was 12 years in the making.

To see video of Logan’s party click here.

For more human interest stories about autism and the community, please visit http://blog.hear-our-voices.org/category/community/

Arts Can Work for People with Autism

“Arts Work” for Autistic Services is a program for people with Autism, allowing them to express themselves through visual and performing arts. “The work is a peek into the minds of these creative people and a glimpse into the exceptional abilities they possess.” says Dana Ranke, a teaching artist at Autistic Services. This program is one aspect of Autistic Services’ mission that endeavors to close the gap between people with Autism and typical populations.

According to the American Art Therapy Association, “art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.” Continue reading