Everyone is familiar with the plastic, stackable, interlocking pieces known as LEGO’s. In fact, the LEGO company has recently become one of the largest toy companies in the world, as kids, adolescents and even adults in all countries enjoy playing and creating with them. The name LEGO literally translates to “play well” in Danish.
While playing with LEGO’s, children are not only having fun, they are developing a wide range of skills such as fine motor skills, creativity, problem-solving skills, mathematical thinking, persistence, self-esteem, and planning skills. Given this wide range of benefits, it isn’t surprising that the toy has been popular for over 75 years.
But, did you know that professionals have started a unique therapy using LEGO’s to help children with autism? “The goal of LEGO therapy is to build the types of skills that can help autistic children better engage with peers, share experiences, and collaborate.” as stated in https://www.verywellhealth.com/lego-therapy-for-children-with-autism-4169865. In early studies of LEGO therapy, autistic children were found to more likely to interact with other children after completing the therapy and were less aloof. The therapy involves the group of children to be divided into three different roles: Engineer, Supplier and Builder. An adult facilitator works with the group of children to help them take turns, follow directions, work together and stay focused.
LEGO therapy isn’t available everywhere, but many therapists can incorporate LEGO’s into their work. Similarly, parents can always learn to use LEGO’s in their own home as a therapeutic tool.