I was recently reminded by Facebook about a picture of our daughter, Logan, spending time in her ‘box’. The throwback photo brought back many emotional memories, reminding me of a time when we were held captive by Logan’s diagnosis of Aniridia and her visual and sensory limitations.

When Logan was an infant, she didn’t know how to process the world around her. The Anchor Center for Blind Children provided us with what call ‘Logan’s Box’.  The official name for it is a ‘Little Room’. They told us it would become her safe place for play, and that her development would improve with a lot of time spent in the box. The box would provide her with boundaries and she would show favor to certain toys. We were to include toys of different textures and colors, and put things like blankets or tissue paper underneath her that made noises as she moved. Frequently moving the arrangement of the toys would help her to use her eyes, hands and feet in all directions.

The box went with us everywhere, and that is where she spent much of her wake time. Initially, we were hesitant at the idea. It almost felt cruel to keep her ‘in a box’. We felt so different caring for an infant in the ways we needed to care for Logan. I nursed her in dark rooms with a fan running because any small sound would distract or upset her. Time in her carseat was spent tightly wrapped in a swaddler with a weighted bean bag on her lap because she felt out of control without them. The ideas seemed so unusual, but the suggested methods to control her sensory issues were life-changing for Logan, and for us. The box became her happy place. She would explore and kick and swing her arms with delight inside her box. She eventually learned how to control her body enough that she didn’t need the constant and solid boundaries the box provided.

I view Logan’s need for the box the same as I view my needs as an introvert. I’ve learned that I need my boundaries and quiet space alone without interruptions from outside. I love people, outdoors, celebrations, sporting events, speaking at events and relationships. However, while I can function outside of my box for certain amounts of time, my refreshment always comes from getting back into the box, where I can find what feels to me like order and calm.

Logan may no longer need an actual box, but the world around her does seem to be overwhelming sometimes. Vision impairments take a more of a toll on a child than people realize. I often find that after school she goes up to her room, closes her door and hangs out for a long time. I’ve asked her enough times to know that she doesn’t do anything in particular in her room, but that she just needs it. She says it makes her feel happy; the walls of the room serving as the box….providing boundaries and quiet and the freedom to turn off all the stimulation around her.

I’m the luckiest mom in the world to have Logan Jo and learn from her, though she doesn’t even realize she is teaching.