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The effectiveness of the Lego® therapy intervention in promoting the social interaction of children with Autism Spectrum Condition in the playground: An evaluation study

Cheng, YFS; (2016) The effectiveness of the Lego® therapy intervention in promoting the social interaction of children with Autism Spectrum Condition in the playground: An evaluation study. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Social interaction difficulties are one of the main features of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), and research has shown that current social interventions may not be sufficient to support the needs of children with ASC in mainstream schools. Lego® therapy involves building Lego® collaboratively in order to promote social interaction for children with ASC. Despite the increasing application of Lego® therapy in educational settings, previous studies were largely clinical in nature; thus, more evidence is required to examine the implementation of Lego® therapy in school settings. This study employed a mixed method approach to understand the effectiveness of an 8-week Lego® therapy group intervention for children with ASC to improve their social interaction. An additional aim was to explore the impact of having a Typically Developing (TD) child in the Lego® therapy group, further complemented by teaching assistants’ views of delivering Lego® therapy in school. Nineteen Key Stage 2 children with ASC and IQs above 70, 4 TD peers and 6 TAs from 5 mainstream primary schools completed the study. A quasi-experimental study divided the sample into 3 groups- pure group, mixed group, and control group. Qualitative data was collected from TAs at post-intervention. In addition, four cases from the pure and mixed groups were selected purposefully for a more in-depth investigation to address variations within the intervention. Quantitative analysis revealed no significant intervention effects. TA interviews were analysed by thematic analysis and revealed 5 themes which were related to positive changes amongst the participants with ASC, barriers and maintenance factors within the group, benefits of TD peers’ participation and practical factors of running the intervention in school. Implications for Educational Psychologists include working collaboratively with stakeholders in deciding the appropriateness and the length of the intervention and advocating the importance of the environmental factors for successful implementation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The effectiveness of the Lego® therapy intervention in promoting the social interaction of children with Autism Spectrum Condition in the playground: An evaluation study
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Autism, Play, ASC, ASD, Social Interaction
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522736
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