There are very few proven methods to improve social and communication skills for kids on the spectrum. The research* consistently highlights the need for social skills groups to capitalize on the inherently motivating and rewarding aspects of a play activity for kids with HFA and social communication issues.
Are the LEGO® Social Development Groups a good fit for my child?
- Is your child aloof in social situations with peers?
- Are you more concerned about your child’s missed social opportunities than s/he is?
- Is your child more motivated by a high interest activity than a social learning opportunity?
- Does your child have trouble initiating social interaction?
- Does your child tend to ignore the usual social pressures to cooperate and imitate peers in order to better connect with them?
- Might your child learn social communication and play skills better if s/he were engaged in an activity s/he enjoyed?
What skills does this group address?
- Initiating Social Interaction
- Collaborating, Problem Solving, Compromising, and Negotiating
- Sharing and Going with the Flow
- Turn Taking
- Improving Eye Contact
- Developing Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
- Engaging in Social Interaction
What happens in group?
Kids are grouped by age/grade/developmental level and will:
- Meet weekly in a structured 1 hour group
- Participate in mind/body exercises
- Practice Executive Skills (EF) like planning and flexibility
- Work together to build a group identity and task focus
- Initiate social contact with peers
- Go with the flow in different roles as builders, engineers and sorters
- Problem solve inherent conflicts in collaborative LEGO® model building
The groups will decide what Lego® theme is most interesting to them; Minecraft, Star Wars, Ninjago, SpongeBob, trains, super heroes, or anything else that captures their imagination.
Parents are an important part of all the work we do at In Step. As part of the LEGO® Social Development Groups, parents will meet monthly to discuss topics such as:
- Practicing Social Skills at Home
- Prompting, Mirroring, Practicing
- Improving Communication
- Autism and Identity
- Behavior Management and Discipline
- Self Regulation and Anger Management
- Managing Stress
- Cooperation and Compliance
These ongoing groups meet weekly. Groups are available for children ages 6 and up.
In order to determine whether a LEGO® group is a good fit for your child, the next step is to call and talk with us. We can arrange to review testing reports, provide screening tools for you as well as your child’s teacher and schedule an initial evaluation if appropriate. This careful screening helps us to create cohesive groups that encourage growth amongst members. This program is effective for kids who are at least of average IQ.
If you would like to read more about how the group works and the types of kids and interactions we see, here is an article analyzing one of our sessions.