Social Skills Support.
Facts. Answers. Questions.
How are the groups organized? Each group will be cohesive. Participants will be matched with peers who are close in age, have similar interests, and are working on common goals.
How many members are in each session? Many individuals thrive in a small group setting where they feel comfortable and able to participate. For younger participants, the club size will be kept small with a maximum of three members. For older participants, the club size may include three to four members.
What framework for teaching social skills does Brick Club use? We use Dr. Daniel LeGoff’s LEGO® Based Therapy framework, which was renamed Brick-by-Brick Programme™. It is a play based intervention to facilitate social communication skills in children with ASD. 1 For more information, please visit The Brick-by-Brick programme | Play Included
Is the Brick-by-Brick Programme™ considered a social skills intervention for individuals with autism? Absolutely! LEGO®-Based Therapy is a social development intervention based on research.3 The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Research Council classify it as social skills training.2
Why is LEGO® used for teaching social skills? Many individuals enjoy LEGO® and this encourages group participation and social communication. Also, individuals on the autism spectrum are often intrinsically motivated by the structured, repetitive, and creative format LEGO® provides.1
Is there any research evaluating the effectiveness using LEGO® Therapy to teach social skills? Most definitely! Nineteen studies indicate LEGO® Therapy increases social skills, verbal communication, belonging, and coping skills. It also decreases ASD-specific behaviors like aloofness and rigidity.2,4,5
Are evidence-based practices (EBPs) incorporated into Brick Club? Yes! Evidence-based practices are proven to be effective interventions for supporting individuals with autism. Frequently used EBPs include naturalistic interventions, self management, social skills training, prompting, reinforcement, functional communication training, and visual supports. 5 For information about EPBs, please visit Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (unc.edu)
Isn’t Brick Club the same as giving my child and their friend some Lego® to play with? No. Interacting in a new setting provides real opportunities for social interactions and problem solving. Also, the program facilitator has specialized training and Brick Club reflects an evidence based social skills intervention.
Do you incorporate Social Thinking concepts? Yes, but it is not our focus. Brick Club provides a naturalistic environment which helps participants transfer and use skills in new settings. As a result, we do not sit, read books, and talk about concepts. Instead, some concepts from the Social Thinking Curriculum are woven throughout our interactions. For example, each session includes a ‘group plan’, participants are reminded to think about the ‘size of the problem,’ and if necessary may be prompted to ‘keep their body in the group.’ For more information about Social Thinking please visit Socialthinking – The Social Thinking Methodology
Are you familiar with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)? Yes. ABA is a Behavioral science used to understand behavioral responses and when used appropriately, can facilitate behavioral change through a respectful, individualized approach. Every human’s behavioral response is shaped by a contingency of what happens before and after a behavior occurs. ‘Reinforcement’ strengthens or maintains behavior (e.g. praising a child’s homework completion) while ‘consequences’ can weaken or decrease it (e.g. not buying the candy your child is screaming for). At KIDS CONNECT the emphasis is on person centered, individualized positive support that honours and respects each participant’s individuality, autonomy, and interests.
1 Legoff, D. B., Krauss, G. W., & Levin, S. A. (2010). Lego®‐Based play therapy for autistic spectrum children. In School-Based Play Therapy. A. A. Drewes, & C. E. Schaefer (Eds.), (pp. 219-235). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118269701.ch11
2 Narzisi, A., Sesso, G., Berloffa, S., Fantozzi, P., Muccio, R., Valente, E., Viglione, V., Villafranca, A., Milone, A., & Masi, G. (2021). Could you give me the blue brick? LEGO®-based therapy as a social development program for children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Brain Sciences, 11(6), 702. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060702
3 LeGoff, D., Gomez de la Cuesta, G., Krauss, GW., & Baron-Cohen, S. LEGO®-Based Therapy: How to build social competence through LEGO®-Based Clubs for children with autism and related conditions. 2014.
4 Lindsay, S., Hounsell, K. G., & Cassiani, C. (2017). A scoping review of the role of LEGO® therapy for improving inclusion and social skills among children and youth with autism. Disability and Health Journal, 10(2), 173-182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2016.10.010
5 Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. Cox, A. W., Fettig, A., Kucharczyk, S., … Schultz, T. R. (2014). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, Autism Evidence-Based Practice Review Group.