Updated: May 29
Lego®-based Therapy Facilitator. Bea Inclusive TV and Podcast Episode 011
Last time, I reviewed the Lego® collaborative set – My first car creation –and showed you how I checked all the possible building projects in that pack. Then, you could see how I take pictures to create the necessary resources for children.
Today, I will closely examine the simple subject of training as the Lego®-based Therapy Facilitator.
In this episode of Bea Inclusive TV, you will:
1. Find out why I think it is better to train as the Lego® based Facilitator before you start your therapy sessions.
2. Training is the best practice for building truly inclusive provision from day one.
If you are new to me – my name is Bea, and I'm advocating truly inclusive school provision. I support an eclectic and holistic approach, and as the Autism Lead Practitioner, I used many different interventions to suit my children's needs. One of the best therapies that passionate about is Lego® based Therapy, as I saw the effectiveness of this approach and the positive change in children's and adults' emotional and behavioural responses, language, communication and social skills.
So, I invite you to follow my journey in creating genuinely inclusive provision that helps you support children and develop your skills. Are you ready? Let's go!
Lego® based Therapy is used across many different settings, and the purpose of the Therapy differs from one facilitator to another. You can have Lego® based Therapy Facilitators that use this Therapy to deal with grief, abuse, self-harming, trauma, etc. You can use this Therapy to develop children's communication, language and social skills. You can shape children's emotional and behavioural responses and teach them self-regulation, relaxation and breathing techniques. Through this versatile approach, you can also prepare the national curriculum or organise extra-curriculum playgroups. You can do a lot with Lego® based Therapy in your setting. You can work one-to-one, with small groups of 2,3,4 and 5, or you can deliver several small groups simultaneously. You can work with a family unit. You can work with typically developed children, children with EAL, children with learning difficulties, children with autism and other special educational needs. You can work with children, youth, adults and older people.
You probably know that I'm in love with this fantastic approach. No words can describe how I feel when working with children through Lego® based Therapy and when I can see their full attention. How they make progress and develop their self-esteem, understand their feelings, and learn how to self-regulate. I love every minute of their positive transformation of my pupils and the transformation of myself, and I'm very grateful to all the children I ever taught as they shaped my skills. I know today about the different ways of helping them, and I appreciate the difficult discussions we had, every tantrum I got through and managed to stop or avoid, our planning sessions and compromises. Being the Lego®-based Therapy Facilitator/Therapist, it's a huge privilege and a demanding job, especially when you are new to that approach.
I know that it's possible to start this intervention without the training. Still, as the Autism Lead Practitioner and the advocate of the genuinely inclusive provision that is child-centred and evidence-based, I must follow good practice guidelines created by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Autism Education Trust, so I would advise your setting to train your facilitators before starting your own Lego® based therapy sessions or other approaches. Furthermore, as the special needs leader, I believe you should prepare your whole setting as this will give you consistency and flexibility.
I witnessed – people struggling with the delivery of this approach. I saw children throwing bricks, shouting, hitting, smashing the class, etc. I saw adults threatening children, for example, to be kicked out of the Lego Group, or bribing them, ignoring the behaviour, making children's anxiety worse or trying to argue with children when their brain was in the fight, fly and freeze state.
I could talk about this for weeks, giving you plenty of examples, but I think you have a point.
You can avoid all these! By simply training and coaching your staff so they create a safe, soothing and trustworthy provision.
But Bea, you can say I don't have problems like that. I don't work with children with special needs, and none of my children express challenging behaviour. So I would say, OK, I get that, but you don't have it now. You don't know what will happen the next day. Tomorrow you can have a child with classic autism, a non-speaker with dyspraxia and learning difficulties who don't have time to waste as he's already disadvantaged and behind, and you wouldn't be able to help that child from day one. But Bea, you can say I have LA and their special team so that they can come and help. And I would say, yes, you have, and while you are waiting, the child will lose more time, maybe because you didn't have the training. So you may develop more inappropriate, unwanted and challenging behaviour that will be hard to eliminate when the LA specialist sees the child.
This upbeat, structured, and evidence-based approach is incredible but requires many different skills from the facilitator.
This approach is not about building ideas; it's much, much more.
But this is probably the topic that deserves independent video as it's HUGE!
Let me only tell you that being the LBTH facilitator require plenty of essential skills, such as:
- assess the child in advance (do you have the assessment),
-target the deficit skills,
-plan how you are going to teach those deficit skills,
-make the resources, prepare the resources,
-plan your groups,
-deliver the planning the way that you teach the deficit skill,
-decrease anxiety and self-calming techniques
-improve their self-esteem and follow their interest.
-make observation notes
– re-assess, reflect on the child's progress and to self-reflect on your practice
– shape emotional and behavioural responses
There is more than that, and I will make another video about what LBTH is, what skills you need to become a facilitator, and what your role is.
OK. There you have it. Today I've presented why you should train before delivering this remarkable Therapy.
I wonder what you think. Please comment below the video and consider subscribing to my channel, as this will help me to create more videos like this one, and more people will be able to learn for FREE. Don't forget to hit the like button.
Next week I will give you several strategies to help and support children with PDAs.
Until Next Time