Jordan Hilkowitz is an 11-year old boy who has Autism. He was non-verbal until he was 5, and had very little language until fairly recently. His initial inability to speak, however, did not hinder his fondness to science. He carried out simple experiements in his house, under the watchful eye of his long-time babysitter named Tracy Leparulo. Tracy spent countless hours looking up experiments that she and Jordan could do at home.
Last year, they both decided to film their experiments and post them on Youtube (see Michael’s Channel). This channel gives Jordan a platform to show people what he is capable of and he does this enthusiastically. Every video shows his excitement and passion for what he is doing. At the time of writing, he has uploaded 23 videos and his channel has received over 4 million views. This, and the positive comments from the people who viewed his experiments show just how beneficial social media can be. In addition (and perhaps more importantly), Tracy’s encouragement has significantly been one of the major turning points in Jordan’s life. Had it not been for Tracy’s encouragement and patience over these years, Jordan may not have developed language skills and may have not be able to show us how talented he is.
Here are some of my favourite experiments in Jordan’s channel: