Autism-friendly schools in Torbay are being supported by a local supermarket to use LEGO as a therapeutic tool.
Donations and subsidised LEGO sets are being provided to local schools by Sainsbury’s Paignton branch, supporting a scheme funded by The Torbay Schools’ Forum and The Autism-friendly schools project. So far, 27 schools in Torbay have participated in the scheme.
The bricks are being provided to set up therapy groups, after teaching staff attended a workshop to demonstrate the benefits that using LEGO elements in such a way can have.
Devon Live reported on the scheme, speaking to the professionals behind the project.
“Everyone loves LEGO and research shows that structured group activities with the toy bricks can have a really positive impact on children who need support with social interaction, building relationships and developing their speech and language.
It works especially well with children with autism, significantly enhancing their social and communication skills,” explains Autism-Friendly Schools co-ordinator Mary Bruton who is helping teachers roll out LEGO therapy throughout the Bay to deliver joy and great results.
“LEGO Therapy has a buzz of excitement around it in our school. All children that participate in the sessions take great pride in their achievements and share them with their peers as well as parents.” says Tracey Astin, communication and interaction lead at White Rock Primary School. In return for attending the workshop, 27 schools received a LEGO Creator 3-in-1 kit and supporting material to get started and apply the fundamentals of the LEGO therapy research in their own setting.
The positive uses and benefits that LEGO bricks can provide continues to be explored – if your local community has a great way of doing so, be sure to get in touch.