It seems that lots of kids with autism enjoy legos a great deal. There are probably lots of good reasons, and I can think of a few:
- You can certainly make order out of the chaos of a bunch of random legos
- The shapes and colors are predictable
- It’s easy to get lost in a project and forget about the rest of the world
- There are instructions (predictable rules)
They are also a great way to help kids with autism reach outside their comfort zones – What do we do when the instructions call for a 1×6 hinge brick and we don’t have one? How can we turn this racecar into a dinosaur? Can I help you build this project?
When The Boy started wanting lego kits, he really just wanted to bring them home, open them up, hand the project to me to build, so he could have the resulting plane, RV, whatever. Within the last year or so, he has not handed the project to me to build, preferring to build it himself. But there are times when the correct lego piece cannot be found, and when I realize it is past the teachable moment, when we are heading toward meltdown territory, so I head to BrickLink.
BrickLink is an online marketplace to buy and sell individual lego pieces, conveniently for the lego company (not so much for us parents), not sold in stores. When The Boy recently lost a “Black Technic, Liftarm 1×2 with Bar”, I was able to go to BrickLink, find a seller who had one, and could ship it to me relatively cheaply and quickly. I actually ordered 4 missing pieces, and they came in a couple of days, to the tune of about $3 total.
This is a really handy resource to have in your back pocket if your little one is into legos, and absolutely “needs” a single piece from time to time.