LEGO®-Based Therapy is a social skills programme for young people with autism spectrum disorders and related social communication difficulties. The approach was developed by Dr. Dan LeGoff, a Clinical Neuropsychologist from Philadelphia, USA.
In LEGO®-based therapy the children build LEGO models in groups of 2 or 3, with adult help. One child finds the bricks (the ‘supplier’), another has the instructions (the ‘architect’) and a third child puts the model together (the ‘builder’).
Rachel, a trained LEGO-based therapy practitioner, said:
"The aim of the group is to support students' social skills, ability to take turns, gain attention, negotiate and fix disagreements themselves. Within this we are also working on developing their understanding of BSL (understanding instructions given to them) and their ability to form instructions clearly (expressive skills) so that their peers understand what they are asking for or explaining.
This is also a great task to support Theory of Mind development (understanding that someone's thoughts and feelings are different from my own). If a student just requests a red brick the other student will not know which kind of red brick, big, small, thin, tall, etc. This supports them to realise the information their peers need to understand which piece to select. For some students this is quite difficult so we can therefore encourage them to point at the picture of the piece they need and build up to them using signs to do this.
LEGO is highly motivating for students of all ages and is a great tool to use in therapy."
Our students are currently building a dragon, which will go along with the fantasy castle they have already made. The goal is to incorporate both pieces into a stop-motion animation once they are made!