By Elizabeth Sautter, M.A. CCC-SLP
Finding motivators and reinforcers for therapy can be a challenge. The use of Lego Robotics has proven to be a natural incentive to pull children in. Providing a Lego camp, helps even more so! tweens and teens are great ages for programming the robots. Children work in teams cooperatively and each contributes to the building of the robot and the computer programming. The objective is to tell the robot where to go, and what to do.
In Lego therapy, children have to use their brain, body and eyes which works well with other Social Thinking® tools. They step into another person’s shoes, think about each other and work in small groups as a team. Calming and alerting tools such as Braingym® and self-talk helps develop a relaxed and focused mental state. Sarah Wards tools for executive functioning helps to build awareness of their space, time, objects and people (STOP strategy developed by Sarah Ward, see attached). This is essential for figuring out a plan and developing situational awareness. The concept of working in teams and competing against each other encourages flexible thinking, compromising, problem solving, planning, sequencing, predicting, monitoring, time management and many more executive functioning skills.
In using Lego Robotics, it’s important to keep it fresh and challenging. Your child will experience new ideas, activities, information and strategies to develop their own personal CEO of the brain, their pre-frontal lobe! From a parent’s perspective, it’s quite imaginative and focuses on the skills that their son or daughter needs to succeed in life-planning and sequencing; working with his/her hands and collaborating with others. This will help guide him or her in making and achieving their social, academic and life goals!
This type of environment manages to keep the kids focused and learning in a school-like setting–a good prelude to the fall semester.