Around one in 70 Australians are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a developmental condition that affects social communication and behaviour patterns. While ASD comes with plenty of challenges, research shows that with intervention and support, children on the spectrum can thrive. This is the inspiration behind LEGO® therapy, a social development concept that harnesses the joy of play to help kids with ASD develop positive communication and social skills.
If you'd like to know more about the benefits of LEGO® therapy, read on for an overview of the concept, its origins and how it could help your child reach their full potential on the ASD spectrum.
What is LEGO® Therapy?
The concept of LEGO® therapy was first introduced in 2003, when American neuropsychologist Daniel LeGoff noticed how playing with LEGO® supported positive interactions and socialisation between children with ASD. The concept of productive play was quickly harnessed as a clinical tool and is now used by therapists around the world.
Some LEGO® therapy sessions are organised by trained experts, while others are informal and take place in homes or playgroups. Structured LEGO® therapy sessions usually see each child allocated a role, with options including an engineer or architect who relays instructions, a supplier who locates the bricks, a builder who physically constructs the model and a director who ensures everyone is working as a team. Official LEGO® therapy groups recommend at least 10 sessions to see the benefits. Each session runs for between one to two hours.
How Can LEGO® Therapy Help with ASD?
Beyond the sheer joy of playing, LEGO® therapy offers a myriad of benefits for children with ASD. Playing with the colourful blocks and Minifigures® helps children develop fine-motor skills and problem-solving techniques and also teaches them how to interact and socialise with others.
Creating LEGO® worlds is a great way to spark imagination and encourage kids to work in teams and engage in collaborative play. LEGO® therapy is also an effective way for parents to bond with their kids and develop deeper interpersonal connections.
Is LEGO® Therapy Effective?
More than just a concept, the benefits of LEGO® therapy are backed by a growing body of scientific research suggesting play can be an effective tool to improve social competency, enhance communication skills and spark positive behavioural change.
While there are limited official studies, experts are calling on more research to investigate and sanction the benefits of LEGO® therapy. Of course, there are also personal testimonials from parents who have experienced the benefits of LEGO® therapy firsthand.
Why pre-loved LEGO® is a Great Way to Start
While brand-new LEGO® sets packaged in glossy boxes are great for birthdays and special occasions, they're not always necessary. BrickResales offers preowned LEGO® blocks, LEGO® Minifigures and other accessories at heavily discounted prices designed to save you money and reduce landfill.
The lower price point also means you'll be able to quickly build up your LEGO® collection and maximise the benefits of LEGO® therapy. You can even join the BrickResales VIP Monthly Club for preowned LEGO® delivered directly to your door.