Lego Based Therapy

Lego Based Therapy is a group therapy programme developed for Autistic children and children with Social Communication Difficulties. It works best for children whose primary need is social communication. It can also be adapted for children with purely language difficulties, learning difficulties or those who are reluctant speakers / selectively mute or want to work on their confidence in working in a team/group. The groups are usually run for children aged 5 and upwards - all the way up to young adults! Specific targets for each child or young adult are identified by the Speech Pathologist running the group and these skills will be facilitated over the course of the programme. The groups can help develop:
- Attention and listening skills
- Turn taking
- Receptive language skills
- Expressive language skills
- Social skills
- Team work
- Problem solving and more.....!

How does it work?

A group of 3-4 children/young adults work in a team to build a Lego model. Each has a job:
The Engineer holds the key role of being the sole individual who can view the instruction booklet. This person is responsible for guiding the rest of the group, articulating which bricks are needed and precisely where to place them. They also play a crucial part in ensuring that instructions are followed correctly, frequently checking the group's progress. Should any misunderstandings arise, they adeptly modify their language for clarity and, in cases where things don't go as planned, they lead the problem-solving process to get everything back on track.
The Supplier is entrusted with holding the bricks, releasing them only when instructed to do so by the Builder. This role demands attentive listening to the Engineer's instructions regarding the specific bricks required for the build. If there's any uncertainty about which bricks are needed, they're responsible for seeking clarification. Additionally, this role involves a critical thinking aspect — if a brick is missing, they engage in problem-solving to address and rectify the issue effectively.
As the Builder, the primary task involves constructing the model, a role that hinges on attentively listening to the instructions provided by the Engineer. In this process, clear communication is key. If instructions are unclear or confusion arises, the Builder is proactive in asking for clarification to ensure accuracy in the build. Furthermore, this role entails an element of problem-solving, essential for navigating any challenges or unexpected issues that might occur during the construction process.
As the Checker, the role involves a keen eye for detail, ensuring that the build progresses according to the plan. This crucial position includes verifying that all team members are adhering to the rules and effectively carrying out their designated tasks. While primarily focused on oversight, the Checker is also available to lend a helping hand to other team members if they request assistance. Additionally, this role encompasses problem-solving abilities, vital for addressing and resolving any issues that may arise during the project.
At the end of the session, free play or free building is carried out where children are supported to play together rather than on their own.  As our programmes are very individualised, we will consider your child's needs and may recommend completing some introductory individual sessions before starting a group. Others may initially benefit from working in a pair and developing their skills prior to group therapy.

Why does it work?

A vital feature that is required for any therapy is attention. Using Lego means that the very centre of the activity is interesting and motivating. It is highly structured. Autistic people can find unstructured social situations difficult. Completing a task in this structured way means that the group know what is expected of them as the roles are clear and set out from the beginning.  It requires use of key communication skills in order to complete the build. This means that the children see the use of communication as meaningful. This is SO important for Autistic people. Therefore, they have a want and need to communicate in the sessions, meaning we can support them to develop these skills.  It targets skills in real time. This is where Lego Based Therapy differs to lots of other therapy programmes. The children learn to adapt their communication skills and social skills during the activity, rather than practising a skill that is to be used later.
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