LEGO ® Therapy and the Social Use of Language Programme: An Evaluation of Two Social Skills Interventions for Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome

  • Gina Owens
  • Yael Granader
  • Ayla Humphrey
  • Simon Baron-Cohen
Original Paper


LEGO® therapy and the Social Use of Language Programme (SULP) were evaluated as social skills interventions for 6–11 year olds with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome. Children were matched on CA, IQ, and autistic symptoms before being randomly assigned to LEGO or SULP. Therapy occurred for 1 h/week over 18 weeks. A no-intervention control group was also assessed. Results showed that the LEGO therapy group improved more than the other groups on autism-specific social interaction scores (Gilliam Autism Rating Scale). Maladaptive behaviour decreased significantly more in the LEGO and SULP groups compared to the control group. There was a non-significant trend for SULP and LEGO groups to improve more than the no-intervention group in communication and socialisation skills.


LEGO® therapy Social skills High functioning autism Asperger syndrome 



Georgina Owens was supported by a studentship from the Medical Research Council. LEGO® Ltd supplied materials free of charge for use in this study. We are grateful to Umbrella Autism, the Cambridge Asperger Outreach team and the local schools who advertised for volunteers. We also thank Neil Martin for his donation of ObsWin software, to Alex Pollitt, Michelle Beeson, Alex Hunter and the undergraduates who helped run the groups, and to Sarah Vowler at Cambridge Medical Statistics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gina Owens
    • 1
  • Yael Granader
    • 1
  • Ayla Humphrey
    • 1
  • Simon Baron-Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Autism Research CentreUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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