Autism Acceptance Month: Celebrating two brilliant young record holders

By Amanda Marcus
Published
Saana-and-Auldin-together-header

Acceptance, inclusion, and honoring differences are more important than ever.  

April is Autism Acceptance Month and Guinness World Records is proud to highlight two incredible young record holders on the autism spectrum, Sanaa Hiremath and Auldin Maxwell.  

By focusing on what comes naturally and brings them joy, both Sanaa and Auldin were able to become Guinness World Records title holders before they are even old enough to drive! 

Sanaa Hiremath’s (USA) mother first noticed her knack for mathematics when she was only seven years old.  

“[Sanaa] was able to instantly type in the answers for math problems, some of which I had a hard time [even] understanding the question itself!” 

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Now eleven years old, Sanaa is a quiet, fun-loving girl who likes to listen to music, swim, ride her bike, and travel. Sanaa’s mother shares that her daughter has worked very hard to get to the point where she is now.   

“Sanaa has worked every day of her life to pull herself up to where she is now. Whether it is her speech, gross and fine motor skills, and every little thing we take for granted in our daily lives, she has worked hard for all of those. She is now able to do things which were considered impossible during her early childhood.” 

It was no question that Sanaa set her sights on a record title related to math since it has always come naturally to her. After only two test runs, mostly to familiarize herself with the guidelines, Sanaa made the successful attempt look easy when it is anything but. 

Saana-attempting-the-math-record

To achieve the Guinness World Records title for largest mental arithmetic multiplication, Sanaa was timed as she multiplied 12 randomly selected digits. Without the aid of writing utensils, paper, computer, or calculator, Sanaa’s only tool was her mind. 

While Sanaa zeroed in on taking her mathematical skills to new heights, another record holder, Auldin Maxwell (CAD) took that literally as he broke the record title for most Jenga® blocks stacked on one vertical Jenga® block.  

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Auldin made waves when he successfully balanced 693 Jenga® blocks atop one single vertical block in November of 2020, but Auldin did not stop there. A mere four months later, Auldin proceeded to break his own record by stacking more than double his original total, with 1400 Jenga® blocks stacked on one vertical Jenga® block. 

Not only did he break his own record, Auldin earned another record title most Jenga® GIANT™ blocks stacked on one vertical Jenga® GIANT™ block with 500 giant Jenga® blocks all perfectly balanced on a single block.  

AUldin-standing-next-to-Jenga-tower

Earning a Guinness World Records title has been on Auldin’s mind since he was six years old. His dream coupled with a fascination for stacking objects was the perfect recipe for a Jenga® related record title. 

The young record-breaker sees the nostalgic game as more about strategy than chance. He shared that he gets ready for each attempt by “mentally preparing [with] an enjoyable activity like riding my unicycle or playing basketball with my stepdad.” 

Auldin also has a tactic he likes to use during his attempts.

“Listening to music during my attempt makes me concentrate better and helps the time pass. My favorite song to listen to while stacking is 'Maple Leaf Rag' by Scott Joplin from 1899. Because I am on the autism spectrum, I like listening to it over and over and it stays on repeat.” 

He keeps his eyes on the prize as he is nearing the top of his tower, “I learned to never look away from the stack once it gets close to the end number I am trying to get because if it falls, I won't be able to save it quickly.” 

Auldin-standing-with-toppling-blocks


While Sanaa and Auldin are enthusiastic about different record categories, one thing remains the same. Both have worked to overcome challenges and tapped into their strengths to make history and share their story with others, inspiring us all.