By Carin Bondar | August 14, 2012
A young autistic boy has found his outlet in making
science videos. Jordan Hilkowitz was diagnosed with autism when he was just 18
months old, he didn’t begin to speak until he was 5. His mother Stacey remembers
the heartbreak she experienced as she watched her young son bang his head
against the wall out of frustration at not being able to communicate.
his babysitter’s idea for Jordan to start making science videos. He’d always had
an interest in science, and she felt that this could be an outlet for him to
communicate to a larger audience. Larger indeed! Jordan’s channel, Doctor Mad Science, has received
over 2.4 million views to date – and he’s become a local celebrity for his
The videos are excellent. You don’t always need the
greatest camera or the most sophisticated setup to communicate your message in
an effective way. Jordan always introduces the experiment to be performed in
each episode, and he takes the viewer through each of the simple household
objects used to do it. The experiments are fun, repeatable, and really spark an
interest among viewers both young and old. I cannot wait to try some of these
fun activities with my kids.
According to Jordan’s mom
and his babysitter Tracy Laparulo, his speech and social skills have blossomed
since starting the YouTube channel.
Students are interested in learning from him and the love his ability to break
an experiment down in an easy-to-understand sort of way. My heart is warmed that
Jordan has found his outlet, and perhaps parents and caregivers of other
autistic children might be inspired to try some of his experiments, or to start
channels of their own.
writer and film-maker with a PhD in population ecology from the University of
British Columbia. Find Dr. Bondar online at www.carinbondar.com, on twitter
@drbondar or on her facebook page: Dr. Carin Bondar – Biologist With a Twist.
Follow on Twitter @drbondar.