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Bea Inclusive TV and Podcast
Episode 009

Last time I’ve reviewed the collaborative set building – The Mandalorian and the chid and I showed you an example of extension activity.

 

In this episode you will:

  • whether to run your Lego group when your targeted child is absent

  • why I never cancel my sessions

  • what I do with the planning when faces absences

Hey There,

 

If you are new to me, my name is Bea and I’m deeply passionate about helping children to become independent and happy adults and I’ve made it my mission to help schools/settings to create truly inclusive practice through documenting my personal experience as the Lego® based Therapy Expert and Facilitator, Autism Lead Practitioner and Creator and Funder of the Brick-by-Brick Academy (In-House and Online Training Hub). 

I believe that each child is unique, and each setting is different, but one thing is certain that we all would like to help our children to thrive, from day one. Especially, now where 1 out of 4 people struggle with mental health and where children struggle with social skills and a high level of anxiety. It’s not surprising that plenty of professionals are seeking new, positive, and engaging ways to develop children’s social communication skills through a positive change to their setting’s culture, in a way that will benefit both (children and adults). My reasons for advocating Lego® based Therapy are simple: I saw the effectiveness of this approach and positive change in children and adults’ emotional and behavioural responses. Understanding individual child/person and delivering child-centered and evidence-based provision is extremely important. Especially now where children spend so much time in front of the computer and lack of social opportunities to practice communication, language, and social skills. 

Well, I’m here to show you otherwise and inspire you to create a safe, trustworthy Lego® based Therapy Interventions/approach where your children will be able to collaborate and socialise in a structured way to spend more time, to develop your children’s emotional/social intelligence. I’ve realised that you don’t have to make extreme changes and spend thousands of pounds to help children and improve your school provision. Sometimes, you don’t have to do something radical or expensive, but you just have to be proactive. So, here is me inviting you to follow my journey in creating truly inclusive provision that helps you to support children and develop your skills. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Hello, my Lego® based Therapy facilitators friend! A huge congratulation to Julie, Gemma, Chris, Bryn. Thank you for your lovely comments on my last blog. I will send you the Lego® based Therapy stickers as promised. The Mandalorian and the child Lego set goes to Jacque and I hope that you will share with us how you used them within your Lego Club.

So…

Would you cancel the Lego® based therapy session if your targeted child is absent? I wonder what you think so please make sure to tell me in the comment section below.

For the purpose of this VLOG, I will change this question slightly.

Would you cancel the session if one of your Lego® group members is absent or would you carry on with the remaining children?

 In case you’re wondering what’s the difference I can assure you that is huge! To fully answer this question, we need to ask a few more questions.

If you would cancel the session would you plan an extra session? If you decide to run the session with the remaining children what would you teach? Do you carry on with the planning or do you change the session plan?

Before I answer those questions, please consider subscribing to my channel as this will help me to create more videos like this one and more people will be able to learn for FREE.

In my whole Lego® based Therapy Facilitator career, I never canceled the session due to absences. What is more important all attending children are assessed, and they are in my lego club for individual reasons. I target their deficit skills during the therapy and my groups are usually 4-5 children. This requires a lot of thinking when planning as well as creating tools, games, activities to be able to work on these targets.

So, as you can see targeting only one child and canceling sessions because this child is absent is not the option for me. Not only because I think that the other children could feel used, frustrated, and disappointed but also because that gives me the chance to focus on others, equalise the differences in understanding, improve communication skills and use this situation to my advantage, for example, teaching about the change.

This will lead to the next question. Would you carry on with your planning? As you probably already suspect I don’t follow the normal plan when facing absences. I discuss this with children and teach about the change, lead to the discussion on why we must wait for the absent child, and give them the activity choices for today. My children know what will happen when one of them will be absent in advance as I cover than in the first two sessions when I introduce them to the Lego Club rules and planning for 12 weeks. They know in advance what they will do each week.

This will lead to the last question. Do you plan an extra session? Yes! I do plan an extra session. If this is possible, I plan an extra week of my therapy. If I can’t for some reason I carry on with the normal session and try to fit an extra session in session in the next week.

I hope that all the above will help you in planning your Lego group absences. Let me summarise by giving you these 5 rules that I follow:

  1. Never cancel the Lego session.

  2. Tell children in advance what will happen when one of them is absent.

  3. Create extra planning which you will use with the remaining children.

  4. If you have long-term, planned absence (for example 6 weeks hospital, etc.) carry on with your planning and plan the absent child into a different group when possible.

I’m really curious what would you do? Please let me know in the comments below. Share with us your ideas on solving this problem. It’s always good to learn from others and self-reflect on your practice.

Next week I will review the collaborative set for younger children, and it will be the Lego Duplo Collaborative Set- My first Car Creations and I will tell you how you can use this as the group activity or why this set is great for the independent workstation tasks.

 

Until the next time

Love and xxx

Bea

 

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