The most effective types of training and learning are those that are fun and engaging. This is true for all children and adults, and it is one of the reasons why games and play activities are effective teaching tools for children on the autism spectrum.
One option in autism therapy that is effective in developing social skills, play skills, and communication skills is Lego® therapy. Therapists in the Chicago, IL, area may use Lego therapy in their sessions, but it also an effective tool to be used within the home, daycare, school, or community environments.
The first clinical use of this type of autism therapy was done in Philadelphia by Dan LeGoff, a clinical neurologist. He noticed may children with autism spectrum disorder enjoyed playing with Lego®, and when using the building components, they were more actively engaged with each other.
As with all options in autism therapy, it is essential to match the use of Lego® therapy with the specific child. Not all children with autism spectrum disorder enjoy tactile types of activities. However, those that do are highly motivated when combining the use of Lego® with peer interaction.
Through the use of the Lego® pieces, children use a structured approach to learning new ways to communicate. There are specific roles assigned to children in the group, with each one relying on the other two to complete the project. In structured Lego® therapy, the group members are the engineer, the supplier, and the builder.
In addition to the roles during the structured Lego® therapy, the group members have to work with each other. They set up “rules” as to how to play together, including how to interact with each other during the session. During the collaborative building time, they also problem solve, use cognitive skills, and improve on fine motor skills.
Unlike some types of autism therapy and training, Lego® therapy has the adults step back and allow the children to interact with each other. Therapists are there to support the process and to assist in the first few sessions with setting rules and understanding the goal of working together to create a unique, individualized final project.
Lego therapy is a form of autism therapy that taps into a child’s love of building and being creative. The Autism Therapy Group provides in-home ABA therapy throughout Chicago, IL.