As of 2022, there are over 1.5 million pupils in England who have special educational needs (SEN). A child has SEN if they have a learning problem or disability that makes it more difficult for them to learn than most children their age. They may have problems with schoolwork, communication, or behaviour.
There are government schemes in place to support families of children with SEN, through schools. Keep an eye on local Facebook groups to find local events that might offer support. Just recently, WeBuyBricks attended the first Rossendale Autism & SEN Support Fair hosted by MP, Jake Berry and Spectrum of Light Rossendale. The event was a great way to showcase how LEGO® can help support young people with a range of skills.
LEGO®-based therapy is a relatively recent study that encourages collaborative play in which children work together to build LEGO® models. The original concept was pioneered by Dr Daniel LeGoff, a clinical psychologist who has since written two books on LEGO®-based therapy. The evidence from Dr LeGoff’s work suggests that LEGO®-based therapy amongst SEN children significantly improves self-initiated social contact. Not only does it increase socialisation, but it also helps to instil a more positive attitude amongst SEN pupils.
The most common type of need for those with SEN support is speech, language, and communication needs. LEGO®-based therapy focuses on turn-taking, listening, and sharing. It also works on language concepts such as shapes, numbers, and colours. It is used widely in Speech Therapy to encourage SEN children to communicate and express themselves visually and physically.
There is something very freeing about being given a KG bag of LEGO® and seeing what your imagination comes up with. Our colleagues at WeBuyBricks recently undertook the challenge and the results were surprisingly impressive. For children with SEN, the limitless possibilities of playing with LEGO® often allows them to release tension and shake their aloofness. Once children get going, it’s hard for them to stop so it’s a great way to improve concentration skills alongside subtle cognitive thinking.
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