What is Building Buddies?
LEGO®-based therapy is an evidence-based therapy that allows children to work together to assemble LEGO® models using collaborative play. Our students work in teams. Each member of the team is assigned a different, authentic role. Those roles help teach joint attention, collaboration, sharing, joint accomplishment, a division of labor, turn-taking, gaze following and verbal/non-verbal communication skills. Each student team is coached by an instructor. But at it’s heart, LEGO® therapy is a peer-to-peer program that allows students to work together to accomplish a goal.
- LEGO®-based therapy uses a skill-building approach. Kids are engaged mentally and physically.
- LEGO®-based therapy focuses on the reward of completing a task as a motivational aspect of constructive play.
- LEGO®-based therapy is a collaborative process between the students in a group. Teachers support and guide the process but the students are tasked with solving problems and creating solutions together.
How Does it Work?
Building Buddies is a progressive program that grows with children as they learn. Our students participate in two different levels. Level One students meet twice a week and Level Two meet once a week. Every student starts out in Level One, lasting 6 weeks. After the initial 6 weeks, progressive sessions are based on ability as the students move through the different skill levels of building, design, and creation.
Initial assessments are showing a marked improvement in the student’s ability to work together, to share and to understand roles. An unexpected component has been the growth of friendships!
In other LEGO® therapy programs held around the county, studies have assessed the benefits of LEGO® therapy in three measures of social competence: self-initiated social contact, duration of social interaction and reduction in “stereotyped” behaviors. Each of these three measures showed significant gains.
Building Buddies is an after-school program offered in Stark County at The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children through a generous grant from The Sisters of Charity Foundation. The program is open to any child (from any school or district) with autism and related disorders such as anxiety issues, social engagement or social-impact issues. Golden Key offers pre-assessment and ongoing assessment to track the success of children participating in the program. Participants do NOT have to be currently enrolled here at Golden Key.
Want to learn how you can incorporate LEGO® therapy for your child? More information is here below, or just give us a call to learn more about enrollment, class sessions, start times or more.
New classes start again soon! Our next Level One classes start April 26 and will be held every Tuesday and Wednesday for six weeks. New sessions will also begin on June 14 and again on August 2. All class times are from 4:00 pm until 5:30 pm.
Level Two classes will begin again on April 28 and held on subsequent Thursdays for six weeks. New sessions will also begin on June 16 and again on August 4. All class times are from 4:00 pm until 5:30 pm.
Level One: $150/six-week session (only $25/week)
Level Two: 120/six-week session (only $20/week)