The Block Bus is providing children with communication therapy through LEGO bricks in East Anglia.
A feature from the BBC spotlights the Block Bus, which is part of Alpha Inclusion, founded by Amy Eleftheriades in East Anglia, UK. The bus is a mobile learning unit that seeks to bring communication therapy to rural communities to support children aged five and over.
The Block Bus uses LEGO therapy, a US invention that has spread to the UK to help children with autism and additional learning needs develop their communication. Some sessions work with groups of children, some are one-on-one. By having a mobile unit, the therapy can be delivered to children who might otherwise struggle to access such services.
The BBC sat in on a session in which one of the scheme’s mentors, Caryn, developed a scenario for the children to get involved with. Sharks toys placed on a blue mat represented dangerous, shark infested waters – the children then devised LEGO builds to get across.
Schools who have worked with the organisation have found that through LEGO building and play, children naturally open up more as they communicate about what they are creating.
“Over the years I have found that LEGO can be tricky for some children and they need to start on a more basic level,” Eleftheriades explained. “Some children can’t necessarily manipulate the LEGO and so we find out their interests, and use that to engage with them. We might use arts, clay or play. It depends on the child.”