Craving for more information about Lego based Therapy?
these research papers out!

By Beata Bednarska

If you like me, crazy about Lego® based Therapy and you would like to “suck in” more facts about it, then this is the right place for you. I thought it would be good to share with you the researches that were conducted about Lego® based Therapy. 

After two years of organising and running my Lego® Groups, almost 200 children that got through my Lego® Club, hours of planning, evidencing and creating resources, I must say, I have my own little research that I conducted 🙂 

What I found, excites me very much, and it’s my little case study which was conducted in the mainstream primary school. Teaching children through the play is for me the best thing in the world as they were motivated and engaged all the time. I’m not going to write about my findings though but before I will give you the list of current researches I would like to guide you to the white paper  “The role of play in children’s development: a review of the evidence” created by David Whitebread & Dave Neale, Hanne Jensen, Claire Liu & S. Lynneth Solis, Emily Hopkins & Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Jennifer Zosh (November 2017). This paper was conducted in relation to the five types of play (Whitebread 2012) and describes a relation between children’s play and their learning development. The whole research you can find here.

I would like to summarise it by giving you Five Things you have to know about play created by the National Association for the Education of Young Children: 

  1. Children learn through play. Children learn and develop cognitive skills physical abilities, new vocabulary, social skills, literacy skills, etc. “
  2. “Play is healthy. Play helps children grow…”
  3. “Play reduces stress. Play is joyful and provides outlet for anxiety and stress.”
  4. “Play is more than meets the eye. Play is simple and complex. There are many type of play…”
  5. “Play and learning go hand -in hand.They are not separate activities… Play is the child’s lab.”

Let’s move on onto the Good Autism Practice which was published on 26/09/2012. Of course, you can read whole paper but if you interested in a Lego based Therapy research then you can skip onto the page 17 where you can read about “The value of LEGO Therapy in promoting social interaction in primary-aged children with autism” by Miranda Andras, Essex. The paper you can find here.

OK. Let’s move onto the research conducted by Daniel B. LeGoff and published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (October 2004). This research “was used to assess efficacy of social skills intervention for autistic spectrum children focused on individual and group Lego play.” To find out about the results of this research, you can read here. If you don’t have a time to read about it, I can reveal that LeGoff found significant improvement of social competence in three different components:

  1. Motivation to initiate social contact with peers
  2. Ability to sustain interaction with peers for a period of time
  3. Overcoming autistic symptoms of aloofness and rigidity

In 2006 Daniel LeGoff and Michael Sherman published new research about “Long-term outcome of social skills intervention based on interactive Lego® play.” If I’ll have to summarise findings of this three years study LeGoff and Sherman compered two groups and found that Lego participants improved significantly more than non-Lego therapy group. The research paper you can find here.

Next research, that influenced the way I delivered my Lego® Groups, was published by Gina Owens, Yael Granader, Ayla Humphrey and Simon Baron-Cohen. This was the evaluation of Lego® based Therapy and the Social Use of Language for children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Children aged 6-11 years old were divided into three groups (Lego, SULP, no-intervention). “The results showed that the LEGO® therapy group improved more than other groups on autism-specific social interaction scores. Maladaptive behaviour decreased significantly more in the LEGO® and SULP groups compared to the control group. There was a non-significant trend for SULP and LEGO® groups to improve more than the no-intervention group in communication and socialisation skills.” If you would like to find out more about it then the paper you can find here.

Last research I would like to point out it’s An Exploration of a Community-Based LEGO® Social-Skills Program For Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Jeffrey MacCormack, Ian Matheson, Nancy Hutchinson; 2015). If you interested in this research then the full paper you can find here.