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Local teen with autism headed to Rubik's Cube national championships

Posted at 11:01 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 15:37:52-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — When Tim & Amy Moan gave their son, Logan, a Rubik's Cube in his Christmas stocking nearly five years ago, little did they know it would end up being the gift that keeps on giving for their younger son, Jack, who has autism.

"I'm a firm believer that kids on the spectrum have so many gifts that we don't know about yet and we haven't fully recognized as a society," Amy said.

Then 11-year-old Jack tried to solve it on his own for a few weeks before figuring it out with the help of a YouTube video.

Since then, Jack's interest and hands haven't stopped.

"When I have nothing to do, I just like do that for a couple minutes to a couple hours," said Jack.

The now-16-year-old from Yutan has competed in multiple tournaments and later this week will head to the national championships in Baltimore, Maryland.

"It's always amazing to meet kids and others who've done this longer for like ten years, 15 years," Jack said.

"It's fascinating," Amy said. "I can almost get teary about it because it's a great self-esteem thing for him. It's kind of a good exercise as a family to kind of understand what they deal with all day everyday."

Not only does Jack compete in the common 3x3 Rubik's Cube competitions, where his personal best is 16 seconds, but also the 2x2, where his record is 3.6 seconds.

He also competes in the pyramid category, which is record is 5.9 seconds.

"I just think it's a gift," said Amy. " He hits a personal best and he puts the cube down and goes 'yes!'. That's when we know he's really happy and those videos are priceless."

Jack eventually wants to work for the company who makes Rubik's Cubes, althought there are times at school Jack gets in trouble for practicing a little too much.

"I get that a lot," Jack said.

"Now that I've seen this whole kind of universe open to him with the Rubik's Cube community, I can see him having all sorts of opportunities that come out of it," Amy said.