Children with autism often relate well with each other, this can be a source of resilience and comfort (Karim, Ali, Oreilly, 2014). As we seek to support learners to develop spiritually, that is, their sense of self and their ability to express their personality, encouraging relationship building and tolerance of others are important skills. More importantly facilitating feelings of joy and happiness can drastically improve the well-being of people with autism.
With this in mind I have started a LEGO club in our school. Learners can come and join in from any class and with any aim. They be are seeking to be independent in leisure activity, develop fine motor skills, follow instructions, communicate with new people, cope with unfamiliar people or express their creative ideas, whatever the reason they come, all are welcome.
The sessions are quiet; seeking to be a calm place to end the week on a Friday afternoon. We have traditional ‘little’ LEGO as well as larger Duplo. Some learners like to sit back and watch whilst others dive right in, (we shouldnt have favorites but I am particulalry fond of the person who comes because he likes tidying the LEGo away!)
The resources needed are quite pricey but thanks to LEGO brick donations from staff, families of pupils and some money from the school fundraising group, we now have hundreds of bricks.
Having started the group only recently I can’t say if it is going to be a massive success but I am very optimistic; the atmosphere has felt like it is going to be an activity that thrives for years to come.