700 hours, 11 months and 56,000 Legos went into creating the world’s largest Titanic replica. At the center of this creation was a 10-year-old boy from Iceland with a passion for Legos and a deep interest in the Titanic.
Brynjar Karl Bigisson, now 15, is on the Autism spectrum. Like many children with autism, he struggled with communication and constantly needed help in school. In a recent interview, Bigisson said those struggles left him feeling lonely and unhappy.
“When I started the building process, I had a person helping me in school in every step that I took, but today, I’m studying without any support. My grades have risen, and my classmates consider me as their peer. I have had the opportunity to travel and explore and meet wonderful people,” he said.
All children have interests. It is simply a matter of identifying them and finding activities where your child can do what he enjoys. For Bigisson, it started with a fishing trip with his grandfather. His time on the boat sparked an interest in ships that later led to his fascination with the Titanic. It was a trip to Legoland that gave Bigisson the idea to build his own model of the Titanic. Bigisson’s achievement serves as a reminder that all children have interests and talents and, with help from their friends and family, they can find activities where they excel.
You never know what experiences and activities will trigger excitement and interest in your child. It’s important to remember that all children are different and, as a result, autism will manifest itself differently. There may be some trial and error when introducing new activities or interests. Although it may be challenging to get your child to try new things, it is important to continue to encourage him and be patient as he gets used to this new concept that’s been introduced into his world.
Once your child discovers a hobby, activity or project he enjoys, be enthusiastic and offer your support. Help him get involved and immersed in the new activity. Just like every child is unique and different, every child’s interests and skills are different. Finding the right hobby for your child might require you to think outside the box. Just look at Bigisson!
After identifying his passion for the Titanic and Legos, Bigisson set out to create his own model. The project became a family affair. Bigisson reached his goal with support from his mother and grandfather, who printed scaled down blueprints to figure out exactly how many Legos their young architect would need to complete the project. Other family members and friends also donated Legos for the project. Through the process, Bigisson said he was able to embrace his autism.
Every child is unique, and success will look different for every child. In the end, it is all about helping your child be the best version of himself.