An evaluation of the ‘Lego® Therapy’ intervention used to support children with social communication difficulties in their mainstream classroom

Boyne, Sarah E. J. (2014) An evaluation of the ‘Lego® Therapy’ intervention used to support children with social communication difficulties in their mainstream classroom. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This study presents an evaluation of the Lego® Therapy intervention (LeGoff, 2004) for six children, aged six to ten, with varying social communication difficulties. Lego® Therapy is a small-group, child-led and peer-based social development programme. Relevant theory and existing literature is explored firstly, before a systematic review of social communication intervention evaluations is presented. This is followed by a review of current Lego® Therapy studies, highlighting the limited evidence base that has been developed thus far. The present study’s aims of extending and applying more reliable and valid research designs to evaluate the intervention are then presented.

An ABA single case experimental design (SCED) was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in increasing, maintaining and generalising the social confidence and independence, as well as the sense of school belonging, of the participants. Weekly classroom based video observations, which were coded, using an adapted version of Thunberg, Ahlsen and Sandberg’s (2007) Communication Coding Scheme, explored the participant’s social confidence and independence development and maintenance. Pre, post and delayed measures using The Social Competence Inventory (Rydell, Hagekull & Bohlin, 1997) and The Belonging Scale (Goodenow, 1993) assessed the participant’s parent and teachers perceptions of skill generalisation and the participant’s self-reported sense of school belonging.

Outcomes from the SCED showed that the majority of the participants (five out of six) improved in at least one of the social communication skills measured and this maintained post intervention for three of the participants. An increase in perceptions of the participant’s social communication skills was reported within the school (five out of six) and home environment (three out of six). All participants rated a high level of sense of school belonging prior to the intervention, and change was variable per participant following the intervention.

Study limitations require acknowledgement when considering the outcomes, particularly the generalisability of the findings due to the design of the study and stability of some of the participant’s Baseline phases that reduce the reliability of the measures. The study concludes with some support for the positive impact Lego® Therapy can have on social confidence and independence. Recommendations are made for future research to enhance the growing evidence base for this intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Durbin, N.
Keywords: Lego®, play therapy, group play therapy, educational psychology, social communication dofficulties
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 14603
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2015 13:37
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 08:28

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