A VALE of Leven charity has held its first special social development event - using Lego bricks.

The Vale of Leven Autism & Asperger’s Forum (VOLAAF), a parent led charity based in Renton, used the famous Danish toy as part of a new “Lego Therapy” program.

The initial session took place on Wednesday, October 16, and saw children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other social communication difficulties use their love of playing with Lego to help them develop communication and social skills.

Suzanne Gillies, VOLAAF chairperson, said: “The Lego therapy was a great success. The sessions are a great way to work on confidence, social settings and communication.

“It was great to see the children working together and having fun. We are hoping to run the sessions once a month at our centre. More information will be posted on our Facebook page.”

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The toy-based approach aims to teach children skills like turn-taking, sharing, listening, conversation, teamwork, shared attention and problem-solving.

In each session, trained facilitators instruct the kids on how to work together to build a model.

Each child has a particular role: the engineer in charge of the instructions, the supplier who holds the bricks, the builder who builds the model and the director who makes sure everyone works as a team.

Previous research has found that when children play with Lego, they’re more likely to interact with each other through collaborative play.

Children who might not be keen to go to a social group might go to a Lego group, because they like building with bricks.

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