Using Lego in the Autism Classroom

LEGO Lessons are not just fun, but educational on so many levels.

I read a statement in which a teacher said:  “play is the work of childhood” and I cannot agree more.  Playing offers so many incredible opportunities to teach our children the skills that they need to develop and grow.

LEGO is such an amazing resource to have in the classroom and at home and the benefits of LEGO building toys are endless.  Fine motor skill development, teaching teamwork, patience, problem-solving, organizational skills, sharing and even communication skills can be taught during LEGO lessons.  Not to mention the benefit it has when working on concentration span and better focus. 

LEGO can help children with co-ordination skills, it allows for creativity, adventure and experimentation when planned correctly.  LEGO is so much more than blocks to build things with. 

In our experience children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) tend to interact (socially) more affectively during collaborative play and when LEGO is involved then co-operation often happens spontaneously and with utter enjoyment. 

Lego can be used in a variety of ways – one can look at collaborative play and assign different roles to different children in the group (like a builder, an engineer, a supplier etc) – allowing for each child to take turns in assuming their responsibility.  This method encourages team-work and interaction with the other children in the group and is suitable for most age groups. 

When a group setting is not available and/or when the child’s Development Delays hinders group-social activities – you can print a few LEGO mats off the internet.   

LEGO learning can be adapted for just about any type of unit of study.  You can use it to teach colour, counting, addition, subtraction and so much more. 

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Ilse Kilian-Ross
ilse@amazingk.co.za

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, ABA, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.