By Juli McDonald

BEVERLY (CBS) – Learning is difficult right now for all students, but it’s especially hard for those with special needs who require hands-on education.

“Honestly social distancing and not going out to eat or to the movies was really pretty much our normal life,” said James Pearson.

For the Pearson family of Beverly, it’s not the boredom or staying inside these days that’s painful – it’s having no way of explaining to their son why it’s like this.

“Logan is 18-years-old now. He has a severe case of autism so mentally he functions along the lines of a 12-month-old,” Logan’s dad James explained.

Catherine, James and Logan Pearson (WBZ-TV)

Without school, Logan’s missing daily speech, occupational and physical therapies. And even their afternoon walks now feel different.

“It was just heartbreaking, Logan was sitting there looking at the playground, it was all taped up. He just started crying. He couldn’t play on the playground. He does not understand why,” his mother Catherine said.

To combat Logan’s anxiety, and keep him from pacing, yelling, or even destroying furniture, they’re communicating the best way they know how: music.

It’s nearly impossible for the parents to work from home, when Logan requires so much care.

“Even things as simple as going to the bathroom he needs assistance to do that. He needs assistance with all of his meals and eating and everything. Dressing himself, bathing,” James said.

Until things return to normal, the Pearsons’ focus is keeping Logan calm and safe, and finding some comfort in sweet signs of his happiness.

“He has the greatest little smile. Sometimes that smile just creeps across his face and you can tell he’s at peace and he’s happy. That’s probably the biggest thing I notice,” James said.

To learn more of Logan’s story visit

Juli McDonald


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