Lego Clubs in the north and south of Adelaide are helping children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to develop valuable social skills and find acceptance in the wider community.

The clubs, run by Asperlutely Autsome Inc. and funded by AnglicareSA’s Communities for Children, also welcome families from outside the autism community.

AnglicareSA General Manager Community Services, Nancy Penna said studies have shown impressive benefits from the use of Lego in therapy for children with an autism spectrum diagnosis.

“Many children, and adults, with an ASD struggle to engage in social activities. Lego Club improves their willingness to participate in community-based social activities by offering social and imaginative play through a shared interest in Lego,” she said.

“Children learn a range of social skills, including sharing, turn-taking, following social rules, using names and problem solving.

“The long-term outcomes for ASD children participating in Lego therapies show significantly improved social skills compared to those not engaged in such therapies.”

Nathan (10) loves creating and building with Lego.

Asperlutely Autsome’s Chairperson, Joanne Blatchford, said they have a strong focus on inclusion, acceptance and belonging.

“It also helps foster greater acceptance for children with an ASD and their families in the wider community by welcoming all families, regardless of whether a family member is impacted by autism,” she said.

“Families impacted by autism may be socially isolated due to a lack of acceptance of ‘difference’ in the broader community – Lego Club reduces that social isolation.”

For Dana Thomsen, Lego Club was one of the first opportunities for her son to socialise with like-minded mates. Now, Dana is a program facilitator and coordinator at Asperlutely Autsome.

“Lego Club is a safe place where they can express and be themselves. Parents feel their kids can come here and make a friend – my son now has a friend, and his friend is from Lego Club,” she said.

“Our kids don’t fit the stereotypical mould and to find others that get them is so important.”

Asperlutely Autsome’s Dana and Joanne.

Join the Fun

Lego Club is held fortnightly during school terms on Saturday mornings from 10am to 12pm and is designed for children aged 5-12 years, but welcomes older children with an interest in Lego. Younger siblings can play with Duplo under parent supervision.

  • Northern Adelaide: The Platform, 73 Elizabeth Way, Elizabeth
  • Southern Adelaide: Aldinga Beach Children’s Centre, Quinliven Rd, Aldinga Beach
  • Enquiries: Call 0406 218 002 or visit asperlutelyautsome.org/social-groups/lego-clubs

AnglicareSA Communities for Children is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services