Long-term outcome of social skills intervention based on interactive LEGO play

Autism. 2006 Jul;10(4):317-29. doi: 10.1177/1362361306064403.


LEGO building materials have been adapted as a therapeutic modality for increasing motivation to participate in social skills intervention, and providing a medium through which children with social and communication handicaps can effectively interact. A 3 year retrospective study of long-term outcome for autistic spectrum children participating in LEGO therapy (N = 60) compared Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale socialization domain (VABS-SD) and Gilliam Autism Rating Scale social interaction subscale (GARS-SI) scores preand post-treatment with a matched comparison sample (N = 57) who received comparable non-LEGO therapy. Although both groups made significant gains on the two outcome measures, LEGO participants improved significantly more than the comparison subjects. Diagnosis and pre-treatment full-scale IQ scores did not predict outcome scores; however, Vineland adaptive behavior composite, Vineland communication domain, and verbal IQ all predicted outcome on the VABS-SD, especially for the LEGO therapy group. Results are discussed in terms of implications for methods of social skills intervention for autistic spectrum disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Play Therapy*
  • Psychotherapy, Group
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Behavior*
  • Socialization
  • Speech Therapy
  • Time Factors


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors