What is difference between the “Brick-by-Brick®" Programme and LEGO®-based therapy (or LEGO therapy)?
The Brick-by-Brick® programme is the world’s leading thinking in LEGO® based therapy developed in partnership with The Lego Foundation. In the Brick-by-Brick programme, we are enhancing the resources and training to integrate neurodiversity, learning through play and playful facilitation. Much of the research and evidence that we currently have for the programme uses the ‘LEGO therapy’ terminology. Much of the current research being conducted uses the term ‘Play Brick therapy’.
Who is the “Brick-by-Brick” Programme for?
The Brick-by-Brick® programme is for children and young people, aged from preschool to adulthood who enjoy building LEGO® models and need support with social communication, friendships, or language. It was originally developed with young people on the autism spectrum in mind, who may be very able in some areas, but need extra support and encouragement to promote their social development.
Over the years, we’ve seen indications that any young person who enjoys LEGO® play and needs extra support with social interaction, language, communication and emotional wellbeing might benefit from the Brick-by-Brick® programme. LEGO® play is gender neutral.
What age is it suitable for?
The programme is very flexible and can be adapted to a wide range of ages, strengths and needs. We tend to recommend age 5 upwards due to the language demands involved. Facilitators need to adapt the activity and the type of LEGO or DUPLO used, depending on the age and needs of the children or young people in Brick Club.
What if a child doesn’t like LEGO?
If a child or young person does not like building LEGO models, then the Brick-by-Brick programme may not be the best approach to support them. You can try using the toys and activities they do enjoy to connect and play with others. Playing with others who share a common interest is a great way to make friends.
What is the evidence behind the Brick-by-Brick programme?
We know from research that play is fundamental for children’s positive development. Research studies have shown that LEGO-based therapy (on which the Brick-by-Brick programme is founded) has a positive impact on social communication and emotional wellbeing in young people on the autism spectrum.
Our team have been involved in the first large scale randomised controlled trial (called the I-SOCIALISE trial) that has recently been published. Findings indicated a small, significant positive effect of the
Research findings indicate that Play Brick therapy (such as the Brick-by-Brick programme) is a highly cost-effective programme for children. One study found that it was 94% likely that Play Brick therapy was cost-effective (Wang et al, 2020) meaning that participation in the programme marginally reduced long-term costs to other services.
Other research findings by Barr et al (2022) indicated that 95% of facilitators and 85% of parents said that Play Brick therapy was a worthwhile programme for children. In the same study, 95% of facilitators and 84% of parents reported that children had improved communication skills following Play Brick therapy. [JM2]
We also have an independent evaluation of the Brick-by-Brick programme conducted by AT Autism. Their findings told us that children taking part in Brick Clubs have fun, are motivated and make friends. Facilitators in the study also reported that Brick Clubs helped children to make friends, to feel less anxious and to make their own decisions.
For further information about the independent evaluation of our training, please see our ‘Training FAQs’ below.
We are passionate about research and want to encourage more high-quality studies to be carried out into the effectiveness of the Brick-by-Brick programme in different populations.