What is Lego therapy?
- Lego-based therapy was created by Dr LeGoff as a social development programme for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other social communication difficulties.
- Dr LeGoff noticed that children with ASD and other social communication difficulties were naturally attracted to playing with Lego, and by using it in a therapeutic and structured way, it could naturally strengthen appropriate social behaviour.
- In Lego therapy, adults run a structured group where children work in teams of 3 to build a Lego model and each child has a particular role (please see below).
- Lego therapy can also be adapted to work on language targets, so it can work really well as an intervention for children with Speech, Language, and Communication Needs (SLCN).
Each child in the group is given a specific role to carry out:
1. The Engineer (also known as the Architect) – uses the instructions to tell the others what to do.
- Only the Engineer sees the instructions for the build
- They describe the bricks to the Supplier
- They check that the Builder gets the correct bricks
- They explain to the Builder how to build the model
- They answer any questions to help understanding
- They check that the model is built correctly.
2. The Supplier – supplies the builder with the bricks to build the model
- They sort out the bricks to make the model
- Thy listen to descriptions from the Engineer
- They ask questions to help understanding
- They pass the correct brick to the Builder
- They wait patiently in between turns (this can be difficult!)
3. The Builder – follows the instructions to build the model
- They get the bricks from the Supplier
- They listen to the instructions from the Engineer
- They ask the Engineer questions to clarify
- They follow the instructions to build the model
- They wait patiently in between turns
The adult running the group acts as “The Facilitator”, which means:
- The adult should not be part of the group or a ‘director’.
- They should try not to tell the Engineer what to say or give too much help to the Builder or Supplier.
- Instead they can prompt and offer ideas for strategies if they feel the group are becoming frustrated, e.g. using a checklist, a lego naming guide, a template for clarifying questions.
- Always give them a chance to problem solve as a group first.
- The facilitator can give specific praise to the children for what they have done well.
Who can carry out Lego therapy?
A range of adults trained in the approach can implement it, including;
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Teaching Assistants
- EAL specialist/support Teachers
A Speech and Language Therapist can train you on how to use the approach with a specific group of children or can provide training for a whole school approach.
Who is Lego therapy for?
- It can be used with children aged 5-17 years – the difficulty of the lego build should be adapted based on the age and abilities of the children.
- Lego therapy was originally created for children with social difficulties associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger’s, and even Anxiety or Adjustment Disorders.
- Lego therapy can also be effective for children with receptive and expressive language difficulties with or without social communication difficulties.
Why use Lego therapy?
Research into the benefits of a Lego therapy programme have shown it can help develop the following skills:
- Visual perception
- Language concepts
- Descriptive language
- Positional language
- Sequencing and planning
- Non-verbal skills
- Asking for clarification – resolving communication breakdowns
- Memory skills
- Motor skills
If you would like to know any more information about Lego therapy, or if you would like training for staff in your setting on Lego therapy, do not hesitate to contact one of our Speech and Language Therapists at SLT for Kids on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 088 2298.
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