Building Blocks for Building Buddies is a social development programme which helps children with autism spectrum disorders and related social communication difficulties, such as Asperger’s Syndrome or other impulsive behaviours or social communication issues . The programme is based on the highly structured, systematic and predictable nature of LEGO play which makes it appealing to children with social communication difficulties who are particularly attracted to systems.
Much more than simply playing with building blocks, Building Blocks for Building Buddies is structured and guided by a trained teacher who guides the children and encourages them to address and resolve their problems. Through Building Blocks children can learn to communicate with others, express their feelings, change their behaviour, develop problem-solving skills and develop a relationship with the world around them. In this respect it is also ideal for any children who need help to develop friendships.
Playing with LEGO style building blocks is a multi-sensory and versatile experience, which means it can be tailored to suit each child’s individual needs. However, most programmes are very similar and follow the same steps:
Each child learns a clear set of rules and building skills.
They are then introduced to a group of other children, including some who do not have social skill deficits.
Everyone in the group agrees upon a project which is achievable for everyone involved – projects are usually certain structures or buildings to create.
Each child is assigned a role for the project. Roles are rotated throughout the session.
The group works together to build the block structure according to the principles of play therapy.
The group gives each other feedback on social communication, successes and targets for future sessions.
This type of LEGO style therapy results in better communication skills for children with autism and other social communication disorders. This specific type of play therapy also improves children’s abilities to change their behaviour, understand and talk about their feelings, solve problems and learn about the world in which they live, more so than any other play therapy.
1 hour twice a week - or flexibly to meet the needs of students and parents
5 - 12 year olds
Mondays 1:30-2:30pm (age 5-8) and Thursdays 2 - 3pm (age 9+)