Children with autism have a difference in the way in which the communicate and interact with the world. It effects children differently and this is why we often refer to the ‘spectrum’ to reflect this.
When autistic young people play with the bricks, there are huge advantages:
- Building and playing with the models tends to have a relaxing and calming effect on autistic children. They move their hands and fidget which helps them to enter a more calm state of mind.
- Often autistic children are good at visual processing. This is why they might find it easy to follow the visual instructions to create their models or do the activities.
- Autistic children often have a strong attention to detail. This is also useful when building their models.
- The Six Bricks activities are usually logical and predictable. This forms a good match for children who might have methodical thinking styles.
- Autistic people can be very creative! And after all, many Six Bricks activities call for the use of imagination and self-expression.
- The way in which the bricks fit together in a systematic and predictable way has the potential to lower anxiety.
- Playing with bricks is also sensory and this makes it really appealing to autistic children.
And there’s more!
Autistic children can become stressed and anxious in social situations. If they are able to play with others or with a parent or teacher, they tend to feel less isolated and lonely.
Playing with the bricks encourages them to become more involved in social activities as there is less fear of being overwhelmed. The playful environment is a great leveller and they are less likely to feel different or isolated.
In fact, they have the opportunity to learn social skills so that it becomes easier for them to interact with others. They are therefore able to be themselves and thrive. The play isn’t about teaching them social skills – this happens naturally as they play and interact with other children or with the adult.
Set up your Six Bricks area carefully to provide a positive experience:
- Make sure that there is a quiet space where they can retreat if needed.
- Know each child’s strengths and what they are interested in.
- Set out clear expectations of what will happen during the play with the bricks.
- Set up an atmosphere where fun rules!
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started and use the Six Bricks method with children with all types of brains who have their unique wiring and their different ways of viewing and experiencing the world.