Has there been a toy that is more iconic than LEGOs? One block at a time, it has changed the lives of many children and those who felt like children for many years. Brynjar Karl Bigisson's life, who is now 17, has changed thanks to a project he did with LEGOs at the age of 10.
As a 10-year-old boy from Reykjavik, Iceland built the world's largest Titanic replica with LEGOs in 11 months and with 56,000 bricks.
When he was five, Brynjar was diagnosed on the higher end of the autism spectrum. While he doesn't have problems regarding communication now, it wasn't one of his strong suits as a child.
He explained to Bored Panda, "LEGO has been an important part of my life since a very early age. Because of my poor social and communication skills, I was always on my own, playing by myself, so LEGO bricks became my best friends."
He was inspired to build Titanic's replica during a visit to LEGOLAND in Denmark. Seeing the giant LEGO models was a fascinating experience for him and together with his adoration for ships, he knew what he had to do.
But he needed help. "Obviously, I was not going to build the 7-meter-long (26-feet) model all by myself and needed to convince some key people in my life to help me," he explained. "My grandfather, Lulli, helped me to create special LEGO instructions on the real Titanic blueprints."
"My mother helped me to set up a crowdfunding page, so I was able to raise the money I needed to buy the LEGOs. Also, I was offered space in a warehouse to build the model and I came every day after school and built for 3-4 hours for 11 months until I finally finished my LEGO Titanic model."
Now, he is working on a ferry during summer days and he states that he wants to become a captain one day. His story has become a story of inspiration to other children and parents who are living with autism diagnoses.
Stating his parents were worried during those periods, he says that we "know much more about autism" now. His words ring a beautiful note:
"We know that if you are allowed to develop your skills through your interest, you can become stronger. I have had that opportunity and today there is nothing that I cannot do if I focus on it. This message is important for me to get across."