Photo: Martin Allinger / Thinkstock
If you’re ever at a loss for how to help your child make friends, Lego might just be an answer.
Long-time Lego fan Rob Deakin had noticed a certain kind of social awkwardness among the kids—and adults--who attended Lego events. It wasn’t until he started Inside the Brick, his own public Lego club, and talked to the parents that accompanied their kids that he understood how some of these struggles were due to autism. When he took it upon himself to learn more about the autism spectrum, he discovered that sharing a common interest in Lego created a community for kids who weren’t comfortable with other types of social clubs, such as football or swimming.
“’Team sports can be tough for them,’ reflects Deakin. ‘These are kids who've never asked another kid their name, but they can talk for hours about Star Wars
or Harry Potter.’''
Inside the Brick gives 50 percent of its profits to other, similar Lego clubs with an emphasis on an inclusive community. And Deakin’s purpose has expanded beyond autism as well; all kids with social difficulties are welcome.
''’We'd get these mums with a tear in their eye or biting their bottom lip. At first I thought I'd done something wrong [but] their kids had no friends or play dates, this was a first.’''
Read more about the appeal of Legos for kids of differing abilities
, and get resources
for positive behavior support.