Lego Friends

 

Legos can help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  First, Legos are just naturally engaging, they are fun, challenging, rewarding and when you finish building a kit or a creation you get that automatic sense of accomplishment and who doesn’t love that feeling. When you have an individual with ASD involved in a naturally engaging activity such as Legos other challenges they are faced with while participating in that activity are more likely to be overcome! Some ways Legos can help individuals with ASD include:

  • Legos help develop and improve fine motor skills
  • They help with hand-eye coordination.

  • Legos plays off strengths on an individual which can help build confidence and they can Challenges ones weaknesses!

  • Such as when you have a strong skill set at the foundation, individuals with ASD are more likely to participate in behaviors that are often challenging for them like using their creativity, imaginative play and socialization.

  •  Legos can provide opportunities for collaborative learning with adults and peers
  • Lego help develop the 3Ps – patience, persistence and perseverance. You learn to stay calm and not get frustrated (patience), you learn to keep trying new things (persistence) and you learn to know that it will work out eventually (perseverance).

  • Legos provided in a group setting can encourage cooperation, teamwork and again socialization which are often harder skills for individuals with ASD to learn

  • Following directions is a huge benefit in Lego building. Many Lego kits come with step-by-step instructions that you must follow in order to complete that task.

  • Legos can open new circles of communication for an individuals with ASD which also allows that individual to practice and learn additional receptive and expressive language skills.

  • Legos are a great family experience, when parents sit along with their child and build with them, they are creating a bonding experience that they will remember and share forever.

  • Legos can also be beneficial for older individuals by continuing to build up from the skills that they have learned at younger ages.  While playing with Legos Individuals continue to experiment with new shapes, & patterns, because of this they learn to build more complex structures, which indirectly enhances the brains organizational skills.

  • All these benefits and I have not even mentioned any of the education benefits Legos can have! The possibilities of using Legos in educational ways are absolutely endless. You can use Legos to

  • Sort by color or size

  • In Language Arts – to teach the Alphabet (can build letters, match capital and lowercase letters), write sight words on them read and build, days of the week, months of the year, you can even build a Lego calendar, You can match up word families, use them for spelling words, alphabetizing, sentence building, make a book (take pictures of lego figures and structures you have built, then make up a story to go with the different pictures for that book)

  • In math you can use them for counting, patterns, learning about length, sizes, weight. telling time, addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions etc....

  • To enhance Science – Build a Zip Line (and learn how to speed up, slow down or stop, the lego mini figure by increasing and decreasing the angle of the slope while studying how gravity works, learn that tension on the cord is needed to maintain travel)   Learning about Space? Build a Lego Solar System to go with you studies. Make a Balloon powered Lego Car, Catapult, Maze, Lego Ice Excavation, Float /Sink ( build a lego boat and see how long it will float, what if you put different objects inside your boat etc). Learn about habitats and then build one for a hex bug!

  • For Social Studies – build all the shapes of each state, Read & Learn about the world then do a fun activity by building different Legos to represent different parts of the world and place them on a map. Read & Learn about Egypt then build a pyramid, Match States, Capitals & Abbreviations using Legos, Studying Landmarks use a picture of a specific landmark and then try building it with Legos!

We could go on and on about how Legos benefit individuals with ASD but we are confident you all got the idea and understanding of how Lego’s can enhance many much needed skills in an individual with ASD. With knowing all the great benefits Legos have to offer individuals with ASD we created our “Lego Friends Program” to offer individuals of all ages an opportunity to join us to use their imagination and creativity building with Legos in a fun, safe and relaxing environment. We currently host our Lego Friends twice a month at different locations around Madison County, please see our event calendar for details of our next Lego Friends.