What is LEGO-Based Therapy?
LEGO-Based Therapy is an evidence based social skills programme for individuals on the autism spectrum. The programme was originally developed by Clinical Psychologist Daniel Le Goff (2004) in the United States. Past research has shown that school-aged children and adolescents who attended LEGO-Based Therapy made significant improvement in their social skills (Owens et al., 2008) and anxiety (Nguyen 2016).
The reason behind the success is that LEGO-Based Therapy is using children’s own natural interests in LEGO to promote development of social communication and play. Sessions are highly structured, and rule governed with each participant having a specific role (builder, helper, engineer) and facilitated by a trained facilitator. LEGO-Based Therapy has been applied to a variety of settings, including clinics, education, and community.
This workshop is ideal for people working with individuals on the autism spectrum who want to set up and facilitate LEGO-Based Therapy groups.
The trainer will introduce delegates to the background of LEGO-Based Therapy and how to to run LEGO-Based Therapy for individuals on the autism spectrum. Importance is placed on hands on practice and the adult facilitator’s role in LEGO-Based Therapy.
The trainer will provide step-by-step instructions how to run successful groups in order to promote social skills and collaborative play through a naturalistic setting. Printable resources will also be provided on the day so delegates can start running LEGO-Based Therapy groups after completing the workshop.
Feedback from children and their parents:
“Attending the LEGO Club felt very therapeutic. I left each session feeling more relaxed and calm than when I first came” (child attending LEGO-Therapy)
“It has helped me with my social skills. I found it easier to initiate conversations with people after attending the group” (child attending LEGO-Therapy)
“He started off by not wanting to talk much but after a few weeks he started talking more to his peers much more effectively” (Parent of child who attended LEGO-Therapy)
Who Should Attend:
This workshop is suitable for Psychologists, Counsellors, Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists, clinical and allied staff, teaching assistants, key workers, SENCOs, occupational therapists.
About the Presenter:
Dr Camilla Nguyen
Camilla has more than 10 years experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum across community, mental health, educational and research settings. She has particular interest in the area of sex differences in autism, and in promoting evidence based social skills group practice.
In 2016, Camilla completed her doctoral thesis on LEGO-Based Therapy with high functioning children and adolescents within a community setting. She was supervised by Professor Simon Cohen, Autism Research Centre, Cambridgeshire, UK and trained by Dr Gina de la Cuesta to deliver LEGO-Based Therapy for individuals with autism. Both Baron-Cohen and de la Cuesta are pioneers in this area and developed the LEGO-Therapy based manual.
Dr Nguyen’s work has also been featured in the HuffingtonPost (“LEGO-Based Therapy: How Colorful Bricks are Helping Kids with Autism to Improve Their Social Skills”).
Over the last 5 years, Camilla has successfully set up LEGO-Based Therapy groups and has trained other professionals to deliver LEGO-Based Therapy in their own communities and schools, in the United Kingdom and across New Zealand.