If you are new to me – my name is Bea and I’m advocating truly inclusive school provision. I support an eclectic and holistic approach and as the Autism Lead Practitioner, I was using many different interventions to suit my individual children need. One of the best therapies that I’m passionate about is Legobased Therapy as I saw the effectiveness of this approach and the positive change in children and adults’ emotional and behavioural responses, language, communication and social skills.
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!
Legobased Therapy is used across many different settings and the purpose of the therapy differs from one facilitator to others. You can have Legobased Therapy Facilitators that use this therapy to deal with bereavement, abuse, self-harming, trauma, etc. You can use this therapy to develop children communication, language and social skills. You can shape children emotional and behavioural responses, teach them self-regulation, relaxation and breathing techniques. You can also teach the national curriculum or organise extra-curriculum playgroups through this versatile approach. You can do a lot with Legobased Therapy in your setting. You can work with one to one, with small groups of 2,3,4, 5 or you can deliver several small groups at the same time or you can work with a family unit. You can work with typically developed children, children with EAL, children with learning difficulties, children with autism and other special educational needs. You can work with children, youth, adults and elderly people.
You probably know that I’m in love with this fantastic approach. There are no words that can describe how I feel when working with children through Legobased therapy and when I can see their full attention. How they make progress and develop their self-esteem, understand their feelings, and learn how to self-regulate. I love every minute of their positive transformation of my pupils and the transformation of myself and I’m very grateful to all the children I ever taught as they shaped my skills. I know today about the different ways of helping them and I appreciate the difficult discussions that we had, every tantrum that I got through and manage to stop or avoid, our planning sessions and compromises. Being the Legobased Therapy Facilitator/Therapist it’s a huge privilege and a hard job, especially when you are new to that approach.
I know that it’s possible to start this intervention without the training but as the Autism Lead Practitioner and the advocate of the truly inclusive provision that is child-centred and evidence-based I must follow good practice guidelines created by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Autism Education Trust so I would advise your setting to train your facilitators before starting your own Legobased therapy sessions or other approaches. As the special need’s leader, I believe that you should train your whole setting as this will give you consistency and flexibility across your setting.
I witnessed – people struggling with delivery of this approach. I saw children throwing bricks, shouting, hitting, smashing the class, etc. and I saw adults threatening children, for example, to be kicked out of the Lego Group, or bribing them, ignoring the behaviour, making children anxiety worse or trying to argue with children when their brain was in the fight, fly and freeze state.
I could talk about this for weeks, giving you plenty of examples but I think you have the point.
You can avoid all these! By simply training and coaching your staff so they create a safe, soothing and trustworthy provision.
But Bea you can say, I don’t have problems like that, I don’t work with children with special needs and none of my children express challenging behaviour. I would say OK I get that, but you don’t have it now. You don’t know what will happen the next day. Tomorrow you can have the child with classic autism, non-speaker with dyspraxia and learning difficulties who don’t have time to waste as he’s already disadvantaged and behind and you wouldn’t be able to help that child from day one. But Bea you can say I have LA and their special team so they can come and help. And I would say, yes you have and while you will be waiting for the child will lose more time and maybe because you didn’t have the training and you may develop more inappropriate, unwanted and challenging behaviour that will be hard to eliminate when the LA specialist will see the child.
This positive, structured, and evidence-based approach it’s absolutely amazing but it requires many different skills from the facilitator.
This approach is not about the building ideas it’s much, much more.
But this is probably the topic that deserves independent video as its HUGE!
Let me only tell you that being the LBTH facilitator require plenty of important skills such as:
-assess the child in advance (do you have the assessment),
-target the deficit skills,
-plan how you are going to teach those deficit skills,
-make the resources, prepare the resources,
-plan your groups,
-deliver the planning the way that you teach the deficit skill,
-decrease anxiety and self-calming techniques
-improve their self-esteem and follow their interest.
-make observation notes
– re-assess, reflect on the child progress and to self-reflect on your own practice
– shape emotional and behavioural responses
There is more than that and I will make another video about what it is LBTH, what skills do you need to become the facilitator and what is your role.
Ok. There you have it. Today I’ve presented to you why I think you should train before delivering this awesome therapy.
I wonder what you think. Please comment below the video and
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Next week I will give you several strategies on how to help and support children with PDA.
Until Next Time