What is LEGO® BasedTherapy?
LEGO® based therapy is a social development programme which helps children and young people with autism spectrum disorders and related social communication difficulties, such as Asperger’s Syndrome. The programme is based on the highly structured, systematic and predictable nature of LEGO play which makes it appealing to children with social communication difficulties who are particularly attracted to systems.
Here at St Mark's our two trained LEGO® therapists deliver high quality sessions for children with social communication difficulties and as a lunchtime club for all pupils in Key Stage 2 to enjoy.
Much more than simply playing with LEGO bricks, LEGO based therapy includes the presence of staff (therapist) who guides the children and encourages them to address and resolve their problems. Through LEGO based therapy, children can learn to communicate with others, express their feelings, change their behaviour, develop problem-solving skills and develop a relationship with the world around them.
How does LEGO based therapy work?
LEGO play is a multi-sensory and versatile experience, which means it can be tailored to suit each child’s individual needs. However, most LEGO based therapy programmes are very similar and follow the same steps:
- Each child learns a clear set of rules and LEGO building skills.
- They are then introduced to a group of other children, including some who do not have social skill deficits
- Everyone in the group agrees upon a project which is achievable for everyone involved – projects are usually certain structures or buildings to create.
- Each child is assigned a role. Roles are rotated throughout therapy.
- The group works together to build the LEGO structure according to the principles of play therapy.
What are the rules of LEGO based therapy?
LEGO based therapy rules can be customised according to the abilities and skills of each individual. Common rules include:
- Structures must be built together by the group.
- If you break something, you have to fix it or ask for help to fix it.
- If another group member is using something and you want it, ask for it. Don’t just take it.
- Use quiet indoor voices without shouting.
- Use kind and polite words.
- Keep your hands and your feet to yourself.
- Do not put LEGO bricks in your mouth.
- At the end, tidy everything away and put it back where it came from.
What are the different roles in LEGO based therapy?
The different roles in LEGO based therapy are:
- Engineer: oversees the design and ensures the instructions are followed.
- Builder: puts the bricks together.
- Supplier: keeps track of which size, shape and colour bricks are needed and passes them to the builder.
- Director: ensures the team is working together and communicating well.
Roles are rotated throughout the LEGO based therapy session so that every child gets to try each role – this helps stimulate different aspects within the child.