Is Lego Good for Autistic Children?

With Coronavirus taking grip of the country, we are staying at home and avoiding the madness. So I got to thinking, Is Lego good for autistic children? I’ve seen a lot of stuff around the subject online, they are even doing Lego based therapy. Where they get children working together, to encourage learning and interaction with others.

That’s not something we have ever tried, but Jack has an incredible love for Lego. I dread to think how much money we’ve spent on it over the years. To make matters worse, most of it is broken up in a big tub. He recently expressed a wish to be able to keep his Lego safe, and not get broken. Which was nice to hear. Oh how he is growing up.

Lily has Lego as well, but it has mostly been built by me. She enjoys seeing the finished product more than the building phase.

The positive points

There’s no intense research done here, it’s just my observations on Jack. And as Lily proves, it won’t be the same with all autistic children. But for Jack, Lego has had a hugely positive impact on his life. Here are the areas I’ve seen a positive impact

  • The building process having a calming effect
  • Learned to do something independently
  • something that keeps him off technology
  • Pride in achieving a finished product

Calming effect


Those are four very important points. Finding things that have a calming effect are so important to autistic people, especially as many also have issues with anxiety. We are forever searching for new calming strategies. Lego isn’t an option if a meltdown is well under way, but as a preemptive tactic to keep Jack calm it works well.

Acting independently

Doing something independently is a huge thing for Jack. It’s not that he doesn’t have the physical capabilities to do things on his own. But getting him to act independently is extremely hard for a variety of reasons. One of the main ones, is Jack needs constant reassurance that he is safe in his environment. In his bedroom he seems to feel more assured, and he’s learnt that is his space. But anywhere else, even other rooms in our house, he needs constant reassurance that he is ok and is safe. In order to be able to concentrate on a task.

With Lego he will sit and build by himself. He will ask for help with putting stickers on, and if pieces get stuck together. Other than that he will do it on his own. Sometimes he asks me to come and build something with him, but I believe that’s because he wants the company.

Keeping him off technology

Jack has some sort of technology going most of the time. It’s part of his way of dealing with his anxiety, coping with his environment and feeling in control. It’s not ideal, but he always needs to have at least some background noise. When outside, and depending on what we are doing his phone might go in his pocket. But that’s about it.

So there will always be something on in the background, whether that’s the TV, music or something playing on his phone like YouTube. But once he is building, his main focus is on the Lego. Jack loves to be outdoors, but when he’s inside it’s difficult to get him away from his Xbox or the TV. Lego is one of the best ways to do it.

Pride in his creations

We all take great pride in achieving something, your autistic children are no different. Autistic people often have difficulty showing emotions in a way that the “average” person understands, but they absolutely feel emotion. Regular readers will already know that Jack & Lily to great pride and excitement from showing off their works on here at Lily’s Art Gallery and Jack’s Documents.

He takes great pride in his Lego, which is why he now wants to make sure they are looked after. He’s still got plenty to build from Christmas and his birthday to keep him busy for a while. Here is what he currently has under his bed to keep them safe.

Answering the question

So to answer the original question. Is Lego good for Autistic children? I think the general answer is yes. Of course nothing is going to be right for everyone, but there’s plenty of evidence to say it’s a good thing. From our perspective it’s been a very good for Jack.

The popular Lego at the moment seems to be Hidden Side, you can find it here on amazon (affiliate link – if you happened to want to buy some Lego, I’d receive a small commission if you used this link) of course Lego is expensive, but there are cheaper alternatives out there that you can find in places likes Wilkinsons and Poundland, or on amazon – click here for another affiliate link.

Does anyone personally, or does their children use Lego a lot, and get as much out of it as Jack does? What other ways do you use as calming strategies? What other interests do people have that keeps them and their children engaged. There are so many ideas out there and I am always looking for new ones. Let me know in the comments below.

My name is Adam. I live with my partner Natalie, and our 2 children Jack and Lily. Both children are autistic, it is now my mission to show what life around autism is like. Spread the awareness and gain the acceptance that autistic people deserve.

43 thoughts on “Is Lego Good for Autistic Children?

  • March 15, 2020 at 11:01 pm
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    I love to build Lego find it very relaxing

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    • March 16, 2020 at 12:57 pm
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      I find it quite relaxing, until I can’t find a piece I want 😂

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  • March 15, 2020 at 11:04 pm
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    My son likes to use jumping clay. Sometimes making things, sometimes just squeezing and rolling it etc

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    • March 16, 2020 at 12:58 pm
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      We have some jumping clay, Jack will use that but not play-dough, whereas Lily likes the sticky feel of the play-dough

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    • March 16, 2020 at 1:40 pm
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      I use to love playing with Lego when I was a kid. Been a while since I’ve built something though!

      This was a really interesting read though and it’s not something I’ve had to think about before. Thank you for sharing!

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      • March 16, 2020 at 1:46 pm
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        Yeah, to be fair, before the kids brought it into the house it had been years since I had last touched a piece of Lego.

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  • March 16, 2020 at 12:13 pm
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    I could play with lego still now at almost 29!! My children absolutely love it, we create different games with it. Has Jack tried the game Dobble yet?? We play it alot and it’s great fun for all the family!! We use the Harry Potter one as we are all potter geeks haha x

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    • March 16, 2020 at 12:59 pm
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      I had to google dobble 😂 Lily would love that, Jack would probably be interested in the Harry Potter version.

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  • March 16, 2020 at 12:14 pm
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    Great post. I have a friend with two boys who both have Autism and I know she is so worried about what she could do with them in the current situation so I’ll be sending her a link to this post to see if this helps.

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    • March 16, 2020 at 1:02 pm
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      Thanks 😊 yeah, a long period at home has me worried. It’s certainly going to be very challenging if it happens.

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      • March 21, 2020 at 3:49 am
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        Another great activity for kids are jigsaw puzzles. It’s very relaxing to do and stimulates the brain in matching pieces together. Even for adults I highly recommend this!

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        • March 21, 2020 at 9:38 am
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          Lily really likes puzzles, Jack will do them if you ask him. Good idea!

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  • March 16, 2020 at 1:52 pm
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    Great post, I love LEGO as a kid. I used to play with it and build different things, it makes you independent and creative. Thank you for sharing

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    • March 16, 2020 at 1:56 pm
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      Thank you, any thing that encourages independence and creativity is always a good thing.

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    • September 8, 2020 at 1:10 am
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      Lego is great, but Andrew loves his avenger men. When lined up in a row, he does not want anyone to touch them He can tell if one is moved. And of course his younger brother knows this, and the meltdown is on. Once in a very great while, he will let his brother play with him. He does not like to share. The other child is just the opposite. He will snatch something Andrew has, start a war, and meltdown, then Abel will give whatever he has taken back to Andrew. Kids well great grand kids.!!!

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  • March 16, 2020 at 2:33 pm
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    Such a lovely post to read. Flora was never into Lego when she was younger, she never had the patience to sit and build something and I was glad not to have lots of bits to tread on or accidentally Hoover up. But I think what you say about calming and focusing aspects of this activity speak volumes. I hope this post is helpful for others too, thank you for sharing it 🙂 Lisa

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    • March 16, 2020 at 2:52 pm
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      Yeah I never had the patience for Lego when I was a kid, I had a bit of it but not much. Now I’m all in on the Lego building.

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  • March 16, 2020 at 2:41 pm
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    No experience of children with autism and Lego, but two of mine find it calming and therapeutic, especially doing the big builds following the instructions. They are the two with more logical minds though. The other two prefer drawing and writing, and aren’t interested in lego at all.
    Kids are weird little beings aren’t they?

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    • March 16, 2020 at 2:53 pm
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      Hah yes they are! Things that are calming and therapeutic, are good for everyone.

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  • March 16, 2020 at 2:55 pm
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    Has Jack built the Death Star yet?

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    • March 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm
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      Not at that price he hasn’t! Told him that he’ll have to save up for it.

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  • March 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm
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    What great positive benefits for children with autism. We all had Lego as children, loved it! Thank you for sharing!

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    • March 16, 2020 at 5:07 pm
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      A lot more choice and creative stuff now too 😊

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  • March 16, 2020 at 8:13 pm
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    This is a really interesting read – I think it’s great that you are exploring the effects of Lego. I loved playing with Lego growing up and still love to build it as an adult! Great though provoking article

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    • March 16, 2020 at 8:28 pm
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      Thank you 😊

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  • March 17, 2020 at 7:16 am
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    I’ve worked in 2 schools where Lego therapy is used with autistic children and the impact has been huge.

    There are some great resources available online to try at home. But it sounds like you have a pro on your hands x

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    • March 17, 2020 at 7:36 am
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      It’s good to hear the therapy is being successfully used, and thinking outside that box is being done to help these kids learn.

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  • March 17, 2020 at 5:16 pm
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    I could see it being beneficial cause there are no rules. Build what you want how you want for as long as you want. It taps into both the analytical and creative parts of your brain. It’s nice to hear that kids still love this classic toy.

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    • March 17, 2020 at 5:28 pm
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      It seems to be more popular than ever.

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  • March 20, 2020 at 8:06 am
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    Really fascinating read

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    • March 20, 2020 at 9:45 am
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      Thank you 😊

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  • March 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm
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    This is a well written and very interesting article. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing.

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  • April 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm
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    Lego is fantastic, it’s great to see your son getting so much out of it!

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  • April 28, 2020 at 1:25 pm
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    Great Post mate, I used to love lego when I was a kid. I can see from your observations that it helps jack alot and if it is a way for him to express his creativity and away from technology that’s an absolute winner.

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    • April 28, 2020 at 6:01 pm
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      Thanks mate 😊

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  • June 13, 2020 at 10:31 pm
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    I love build Lego with my little lad, it’s great bonding time. Some nice little creations he’s got there.

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    • June 14, 2020 at 1:35 pm
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      Thank you, it is nice spending that time together working on something 😊

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  • June 14, 2020 at 11:05 am
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    Great Post mate. Nice to see what effects something as simple as lego can help with autism. Sounds like they both enjoy it. I used to love lego, especially the mechano sets with the motors etc…

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    • June 14, 2020 at 1:37 pm
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      Thanks mate, we haven’t got to the motorised stuff yet, Jack’s mentioned them, but the price of those things 😨

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  • June 14, 2020 at 12:11 pm
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    Lego is great for everyone! It’s great to see how Jack gets so much out of it.

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    • June 14, 2020 at 1:39 pm
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      Thank you, Lego is great fun, Jack certainly gets a lot out of it.

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  • June 14, 2020 at 5:51 pm
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    I think you’re right. Anything that fuels creativity and gives a sense of achievement is good for children.
    A very good and informative post that I enjoyed reading. Cheers!

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    • June 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm
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      Thank you, creativity and achievement are so important for children, it doesn’t matter how that’s achieved either.

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