chapter  6
22 Pages

LEGO-Based Play erapy for Improving Social Competence in Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders

ByDANIEL B. LEGOFF, G. W. KRAUSS, AND SARAH LEVIN ALLEN

Children with autism and related conditions, by de¨nition, are o©en diµcult to engage in play, especially interactive play.  is is not a trivial aspect of their condition. Play is at the core of childhood development in all its dimensions. Language, social competence, problem solving, motor skills, technology, identity, moral reasoning-all important aspects of learningare apparent in the self-directed practice evident in various forms of play, from stacking blocks to blasting aliens. At the core of autistic pathology is the absence or de¨ciency of adaptively relevant play.  e LEGO®-based approach has much in common with many play therapy approaches that focus on using whatever elements or approximations of adaptive play are evident and then engage with and expand that core. Fortunately, for many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), there is not only an interest and an island of eµcacy with regard to constructional play, and especially LEGO play, but also a shared interest.