Inside the Brick is Mr Deakin’s vision of inclusion. Children of all ages love to build with lego, and he was fuelled by the goal of “building a community for all these kids who didn’t have one.”
The company’s vision is found on their website:
The company was established in 2012 to raise awareness of the needs of children at risk of social isolation particularly those impacted by Autism/Aspergers. We have found that construction play groups (especially featuring LEGO) are an inexpensive activity that allows disadvantaged children to access play opportunities with other children. Our commercial operations and expos help fund our work in this area (50% of our profits go towards helping establish construction clubs in local communities).
The brick club in Fairfield, Melbourne has been a roaring success. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Deakin said:
”I barely knew the difference between autism and Down syndrome back then. We did all these stupid things like changing around the tables from one week to the next and running building competitions; great for the kid who wins but we’d have all these other kids having meltdowns.”
A trip to the National Autistic Society based in London, UK, The National Autism Centre in Cambridge UK and LEgo HQ in Denmark helped him hone the club into what it is today.
”The trip gave me confidence that I was on the right path with the Lego clubs idea. Why do we have football clubs, swimming clubs and other sports clubs in every community, but for construction play, this fundamental stage in human development, we don’t have clubs.
“A lot of these kids are not fitting into Auskick or Scouts. Team sports can be tough for them. These are kids who’ve never asked another kid their name, but they can talk for hours about Star Wars or Harry Potter.”
You can find more information about Inside the Brick here.
They also have a twitter here.