CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) — Hundreds of LEGO creations fill the shelves and tables in 19-year-old Connor Schoenfelder’s bedroom as part of his passion for turning building blocks into sculptures, cartoon characters and monuments.
Vinnie Schoenfelder, Connor’s father, said his son’s passion for building began at a young age.
“It all started with the larger Duplo box for toddlers,” Schoenfelder said. “It’s a creative outlet for him.”
Brick by colorful brick, Schoenfelder has spent years turning his LEGO dreams into reality using his LEGO sets’ tiny parts and instruction manual.
Connor built several large pieces, including a replica of the Titanic, a model of the Taj Mahal, Cinderella Castle and Hogwarts.
“There probably isn’t a Lego he hasn’t made,” he said.
Connor has autism and his father, Vinnie, said the LEGO bricks he builds help him.
“He got into it very quickly, and I think that helps him settle in,” Schoenfelder said. “He is partially verbal. He will never be independent, and to enter society he needs a full-time helper or carer.
Connor’s sets also allow him to complete these builds from start to finish.
“People will take 30 days to make the Death Star. It will take Connor a day,” Schoenfelder said.
Schoenfelder also said that these bricks gave them a chance to have time for themselves.
“The reason we started giving him so many Legos is because for people with autism in their families, like us, respite is very, very difficult,” he said. “For us, again, it gives us a chance to have time to ourselves.”
“He educates families, he provides services and care, and he also provides a community for people with autism to come and join camps and programs.”
Schoenfelder said Connor was eager for LEGO to open in Chesterfield and dreamed of being a master builder.
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