Standing Up for Autism Through Invention

By allison vannest

Imagine spending more than 700 hours building something? That’s exactly what 10-year-old Brynjar Karl Bigisson did when he built the largest Lego replica of the Titanic. Check it out.

Brynjar has autism, and prior to undertaking this project he had some trouble communicating with others. Building the Lego Titanic gave him a sense of purpose and confidence.
Building and inventing is just one way that kids with autism are channeling their efforts and helping others. Just look at Hollister Mala, age 8, who built a Droid called R2BCalm, which helps children with autism stay calm in challenging situations by sensing noise and sharing tools like fidget spinners or headphones.
Hollister, himself, has autism. Not only did building the Droid satisfy his inner inventor, but it also allowed him to create something that could be useful for others experiencing sensitivity to light or sound, like he does.
Hollister’s invention placed third in an international competition that challenged kids to think outside the box and invent their own custom Droids using littleBits’ award-winning Droid Inventor Kit. He shared the details with local news stations in Portland, Oregon. Check out the clips on the ABC and CBS affiliates!
For many people, especially those on the autism spectrum, bright lights and loud noises can be overwhelming. littleBits inventor, Cara, created the Sense-o-Scope in response. The tool lights up when it it becomes too noisy or too bright — signaling users to get out of a chaotic environment and find a place to calm down.
Take a look at the Sense-o-Scope in action.
April is National Autism Awareness Month, but let’s acknowledge some of the innovative ways that kids with autism are following their dreams, finding purpose, and changing the world for the better — all year round. Brynjar, Hollister, Cara: Bravo!

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