I love LEGO for making a toy that is well-made, fun, and thoughtful. I love LEGO for bringing my children immense happiness and countless hours of quiet fun. LEGO is fun for our whole family; it’s the toy I most enjoy playing with, with my kids. We even have LEGO head decals on the back of our minivan in place of the traditional stick figures.
But mostly I love LEGO for the intense joy it brings to my youngest, my little boy, who has Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. After a brief dalliance with Thomas the Train, our Little Dude has been all about LEGOs since he was about three years old.
All of his “narrow, focused interests” — the hallmark of Asperger Syndrome — circle back to LEGO. His love of Star Wars started with LEGO Star Wars, which led to a love of all LEGO video games. His obsession with Harry Potter, likewise, started with LEGO Harry Potter.
In fact, all the books that sparked his interest in reading come back to LEGO. The first books he wanted to read were the LEGO City early reader books. Thanks to LEGO Harry Potter, he’s currently finishing up his third re-reading of the entire Harry Potter series right now.
I am so thankful that Little Dude’s narrow, focused interest is LEGO. Some kids with Asperger memorize train schedules. Some obsess over weather patterns. While his interest is a little, um, intense, it’s still socially acceptable. There will always be other kids that are into LEGOs. Our elementary school has a LEGO team, which leads into all kinds of robotics stuff in the middle and high school. Even the fact that LEGO lead Little Dude to love Star Wars is awesome: even if he never loses that interest, there will always be a ready-made social circle for him in the Star Wars geek community.
So when my friend Julie Miner saw this video of a boy with Asperger who saved his birthday money and allowance for two years to buy a specific LEGO set, only to find that it had gone out of production, the first thing she did was send it to me.
I teared up about fifteen seconds into the video, and was full-on crying half-way through.
Nice job, LEGO. Nice job.
Check out Julie Miner’s hilarious column Rants in My Pants on Babble Voices. Read more from Joslyn on Babble and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow Joslyn on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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