The start of November saw us team up with the excellent Dr Gina Gomez de la Cuesta and Bricks for Autism as we put some of our volunteers through their Lego®-based training.
Lego®-based therapy is a social development programme for young people with autism spectrum disorders or related social communication difficulties. Young people work together to build Lego® models, using it as a common framework and through this have the opportunity to develop and improve their social skills such as turn taking, collaboration and social communication. It is a methodology that can be used individually or in group settings.
Dr Gina Gomez carried out her PhD evaluating Lego®-based therapy at the Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Professor Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr. Ayla Humphrey. She was lucky enough to learn about the approach from its pioneer, Dr. Dan LeGoff, in Philadelphia, and was the first person to bring the approach to the UK.
Justin Heron, Operations Manager for Little Miracles CEN said; “It was fantastic to work with Dr Gina Gomez and the dedicated Bricks for Autism team on Lego Therapy and its implementation. The whole team took both great enjoyment and education from the training, realising its versatility, engagement gains and match to the needs of the children that we support, especially those with autism and additional needs. We very much look forward to working with Bricks for Autism ongoing and the benefits of the service provision within our portfolio.”
Dr Gina Gomez from Bricks for Autism said; “It was a privilege to train the volunteers and staff at Little Miracles. They are a dedicated group who offer so much support to children and their families. I am excited to see how the staff and volunteers implement Lego-based therapy in their community setting. I hope it helps them to offer a social skills group that is flexible and fun for the children they support.”
Launching at the start of 2017 we will be using these skills to implement our own Lego®-based club, activities and therapy within our sessions for the children that we support, not just those on the autistic spectrum but across a wider audience as the benefits can be far reaching. We look forward to these exciting times ahead, to developing the programme and working with the guidance of Gina for the benefit of many.