What is LEGO® Therapy: Building Social Skills Brick by Brick | upcover
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Welcome to our informative article on LEGO® Therapy! In this comprehensive guide, we explore the concept and benefits of LEGO® Therapy, a unique and effective approach for building social skills in children. As therapists, educators, and caregivers, understanding the power of play and LEGO® bricks in fostering social development can enrich the lives of children and create inclusive learning environments.
Understanding LEGO® Therapy
LEGO® Therapy is a structured and evidence-based intervention designed to support children with social communication difficulties, including those on the autism spectrum or with other social challenges. The therapy incorporates the use of LEGO® bricks to encourage collaborative play and social interaction among participants.
The Core Principles
LEGO® Therapy operates on several core principles that form the foundation of its effectiveness:
1. Collaborative Play
The therapy promotes collaborative play, where participants work together to achieve shared goals. Collaborative play fosters teamwork, communication, and compromise among participants.
LEGO® Therapy emphasises the importance of turn-taking during the building process. This practice helps children develop patience, self-regulation, and respect for others' perspectives.
3. Communication Skills
Participants are encouraged to communicate effectively throughout the therapy sessions. LEGO® bricks provide a tangible medium for expressing ideas and emotions, enhancing verbal and nonverbal communication.
LEGO® Therapy encourages creative problem-solving as children work together to overcome challenges and complete their projects. Problem-solving skills extend beyond play, benefiting children in various real-life situations.
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The LEGO® Therapy Process
Step 1: Building the Group
In LEGO® Therapy, the therapist or facilitator forms small groups of participants based on their social needs and compatibility. Each group consists of 2-4 children, allowing for meaningful interactions and individual attention.
Step 2: Setting Goals and Roles
The therapist sets specific goals for each therapy group based on participants' needs. Roles within the group, such as "Engineer," "Supplier," and "Builder," are assigned to promote collaboration and shared responsibilities.
Step 3: Structured LEGO® Play
During therapy sessions, participants engage in structured LEGO® play activities. They take turns assuming different roles and work collaboratively to create LEGO® models based on given themes or challenges.
Step 4: Reflecting and Feedback
At the end of each session, participants engage in reflective discussions facilitated by the therapist. They share their experiences, discuss challenges faced, and provide feedback to each other, fostering self-awareness and growth.
The Benefits of LEGO® Therapy
1. Social Skill Development
LEGO® Therapy nurtures essential social skills such as cooperation, communication, and empathy, enabling children to navigate social interactions more confidently.
2. Emotional Regulation
The therapy encourages emotional regulation as children learn to manage frustration, excitement, and disappointment during play, contributing to improved emotional well-being.
3. Increased Self-Esteem
Through successful collaboration and accomplishment, participants experience increased self-esteem and a sense of achievement.
4. Generalisation of Skills
The social skills developed in LEGO® Therapy often generalise to other settings, including home, school, and community environments.
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LEGO® Therapy is a powerful and engaging approach that harnesses the joy of play and creativity to support children's social development. By fostering collaborative play, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities, LEGO® Therapy builds a strong foundation for children to thrive in social interactions and navigate the complexities of the world. As therapists, educators, and caregivers, integrating LEGO® Therapy into our practices can empower children to build social skills brick by brick, leading to a more inclusive and supportive society for all.