Lego® Therapy is a therapeutic intervention that is designed to support children and young people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), social communication difficulties and language difficulties.
The purpose of Lego® Therapy is to help children to:
- Ask questions
- Initiate communication
- Develop eye contact
- Repair communication breakdowns & seek confirmation
- Use descriptive language
- Develop turn-taking skills
These skills are essential in order for successful communication to take place.
The current evidence suggests that children and young people who attend Lego® Therapy groups develop skills in these areas and generalise these skills to other environments (e.g. classroom, home, playground).
What does Lego Therapy involve?
Lego® Therapy groups are typically run by a Speech and Language Therapist who works with children in groups of three. The children are each given a different role and need to work together to build the Lego® model. The three job roles are:
The engineer tells the supplier which Lego® pieces are needed & then tells the builder how the pieces should be put together.
- The engineer needs to be able to describe the pieces needed
- The engineer needs to use prepositional language to tell the builder where to put the pieces
- The engineer needs to be able to reword or rephrase his/ her instructions if the supplier or builder haven’t understood them
- The engineer needs to be be able to take turns with others and be able to problem solve
The supplier gives the Lego® pieces to the builder.
- The supplier needs to be able to understood what the engineer is saying to them
- The supplier needs to be able to repair a conversation breakdown (e.g. what will they do if they don’t understand the engineer?)
- The supplier needs to be able to take turns with the engineer and the builder
- The supplier needs to have good listening skills
The builder listens to the engineer and puts the Lego® pieces together.
- The builder needs to be able to understand what the engineer is telling them
- The builder needs to be able to ask for help/ clarification if they don’t understand
- The builder needs to be able to take turns and to work together with the supplier and engineer.
These roles are rotated during each session so that each child/ young person gets a chance to do each job. The Speech and Language Therapist will support each child/ young person to develop their individual skills. The Speech and Language Therapist will record each child’s/ young person’s progress in each of the skill areas in order to track progress.
- LEGO®-Based Therapy: How to build social competence through LEGO®-based Clubs for children with autism and related by Simon Baron-Cohen, Daniel B. LeGoff, Gina Gómez de la Cuesta & GW Krauss (2014)
- LeGoff, D.B. (2004). Use of LEGO® as a Therapeutic Medium for Improving Social Competence. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 24 (5) 557-571
- LeGoff, D.B. & Sherman, M. (2006). Long-term outcome of social skills intervention based on interactive LEGO® play Autism 10 (4) 317-329