"A fun, evidence supported therapy that builds social communication"

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About LEGO® Therapy

What is LEGO® Therapy?

Supporting Development

How does LEGO® Therapy support individual development

Programs

Different programs offered

Research

What does the research say?

Finances

How much does it cost?

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What is Lego Therapy

About Lego®-based therapy

Gina carried out her PhD evaluating Lego®-based therapy at the Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Professor Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr. Ayla Humphrey. She was lucky enough to learn about the approach from its pioneer, Dr. Dan LeGoff, in Philadelphia, and was the first person to bring the approach to the UK. Since then she has trained professionals in how to implement Lego®-based therapy across the UK, run her own groups, has co-authored the Lego®-based therapy manual and published research evaluating the approach. Gina is now a Clinical Psychologist and runs Bricks for Autism alongside her clinical work for Hey! Cambridge, a social enterprise offering early mental health intervention in schools. In the past her career has covered teaching biology in secondary schools and working as Action Research Leader for the National Autistic Society.
Lego®-based therapy is a social development programme for young people with autism spectrum disorders or related social communication difficulties. Young people work together to build Lego® models and through this have the opportunity to develop social skills such as turn taking, collaboration and social communication. Lego®-based therapy can be used individually or in groups. Natural opportunities for developing social competence are facilitated by the therapist. Key to this approach is how engaging and enjoyable it is for the participants! Building Lego® collaboratively is great fun, and young people develop social skills while enjoying themselves. Click on the video below to hear Gina explaining Lego®-based therapy.

 

How does LEGO® Therapy support individual development?

About Lego®-based therapy

Gina carried out her PhD evaluating Lego®-based therapy at the Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Professor Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr. Ayla Humphrey. She was lucky enough to learn about the approach from its pioneer, Dr. Dan LeGoff, in Philadelphia, and was the first person to bring the approach to the UK. Since then she has trained professionals in how to implement Lego®-based therapy across the UK, run her own groups, has co-authored the Lego®-based therapy manual and published research evaluating the approach. Gina is now a Clinical Psychologist and runs Bricks for Autism alongside her clinical work for Hey! Cambridge, a social enterprise offering early mental health intervention in schools. In the past her career has covered teaching biology in secondary schools and working as Action Research Leader for the National Autistic Society.
Lego®-based therapy is a social development programme for young people with autism spectrum disorders or related social communication difficulties. Young people work together to build Lego® models and through this have the opportunity to develop social skills such as turn taking, collaboration and social communication. Lego®-based therapy can be used individually or in groups. Natural opportunities for developing social competence are facilitated by the therapist. Key to this approach is how engaging and enjoyable it is for the participants! Building Lego® collaboratively is great fun, and young people develop social skills while enjoying themselves. Click on the video below to hear Gina explaining Lego®-based therapy.

How does LEGO 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 therapy programmes are very similar and follow the same steps:

  1. Each child learns a clear set of rules and LEGO building skills.
  2. They are then introduced to a group of other children, including some who do not have social skill deficits
  3. Everyone in the group agrees upon a project which is achievable for everyone involved – projects are usually certain structures or buildings to create.
  4. Each child is assigned a role for the project. Roles are rotated throughout therapy.
  5. The group works together to build the LEGO structure according to the principles of play therapy.

What are the outcomes of LEGO therapy?

LEGO therapy results in better communication skills for children with autism and other social communication disorders. This specific type of play therapy also improves children’s abilities to change their behaviour, understand and talk about their feelings, solve problems and learn about the world in which they live, more so than any other play therapy.

In 2004, Dr Dan LeGoff published an outcome study showing significant improvements made by a group of autistic children following 12 weeks of therapy. Each child was starting more conversations with other children and the conversations were lasting longer. These children were also showing less ‘aloofness’ and rigidity than they had done before the therapy. The children who continued with LEGO therapy for an additional 12 weeks improved even further.

LeGoff and Sherman carried out another study in 2006 on the long-term outcomes of children who took part in LEGO therapy compared to the outcomes of children involved in non-LEGO play therapy. Those who took part in LEGO therapy improved more greatly in terms of social competency and were able to adapt to social situations much better.

Play therapy Vs LEGO therapy?

Following the principles of play therapy is what really separates LEGO therapy from simply playing with LEGO.

Setting aside a dedicated time and space for the LEGO therapy on a regular basis.
Encouraging non-verbal communication as much as possible.
Promoting declarative language over questions and commands.
Challenging and joining in at each step of the activity.
Supporting collaboration and pretending.
Not all principles of play therapy have to be included in every LEGO therapy session. For a child who has never attended a LEGO therapy session before, this can all be too much to take on. It’s possible to start with just one or two principles of play therapy and add extra ones during each future therapy session.

Select from 3 different LEGO programs

Simple Machines

This set contains a brick assortment that includes gears, wheels and axles, levers, and pulleys. 
Use this set with the accompanying curriculum pack to engage students in investigating and understanding the operation of simple and compound machines found in everyday life. The support materials provided in this curriculum pack include teacher guidance and student worksheets.

Robotics

Build and customize Vernie, your own personal talking robot friend, code its behavior and complete fun activities with the included playmat. Speak to Vernie and it will respond with facial expressions that reflect its mood. Vernie can move in all directions at variable speed on its large tracks, see objects and colors, sense distance, grip and carry accessories, make hand gestures and launch darts from its shoulder mounted shooter! Vernie also senses and reacts to impacts and knows when you pick it up.

Creative Build

The lego creative build is based on providing shorter builds that allow the participants to complete multiple builds each session. The Creative Build program allows for more creative freedom in the building process which encourages more collaboration, negotiation and critical thinking compared to the other two groups. Because they are shorter builds this group is good for any age or skill level.

Research and Evidence for LEGO Therapy

Finances and costs

Lego kits and assembly instructions
I-pads for every group
Two of our team members to run the groups and support the students
Student assessments on intake and completion to show individual student growth and development
Free staff training, if required

Lego kits and assembly instructions

Lego kits and assembly instructions