2022 Workshops - Click Below for the 2023 Dates and Locations

What is LEGO-Based Therapy?

LEGO-Based therapy is an evidence based social skills program developed for people on the Autism Spectrum by Daniel Le-Goff and Simon Baron- Cohen. It has been successfully replicated across the world, and fits well into the New Zealand and Australian context. It is an excellent therapy model for clinicians and professionals with existing skills and knowledge in group theory, clinical reasoning and Autism. 

This therapy model coaches group participants to work as a team, using LEGO in a structured way to achieve an outcome together as a group. The intrinsic value of LEGO for the participants means that motivation and volition is naturally high, so learning of the social skills is accelerated. Research has also shown the skills learned in the group naturally transfer well to other settings such as from the clinic setting to the home. 

Elen Nathan is an Occupational Therapist who has specialised in Sensory Modulation and Autism. This full day workshop also includes how to structure a group using group theory, with tips and tools around using LEGO for sensory regulation so the sensory needs of the group are met first to ensure all participants are regulated and organised, enabling them to participate in the group to their full capacity. 

Generous Support from The Warehouse

Through the generous support from The Warehouse, each attendee will be able to purchase Lego at a significantly discounted rate to set up their school or organisation's own Therapy Group kit

The Warehouse offers LEGO at some of the lowest prices in NZ, and we encourage you to take advantage of this great offer.

Learning Outcomes:

This workshop is ideal for people working with individuals on the autism spectrum who want to set up and facilitate LEGO-Based Therapy groups.

Elen will introduce delegates to the background of LEGO-Based Therapy and how to run LEGO-Based Therapy for individuals on the autism spectrum. Importance is placed on hands on practice and the adult facilitator’s role in LEGO-Based Therapy. Provided will be step-by-step instructions how to run successful groups in order to promote social skills and collaborative play through a naturalistic setting. Printable resources will also be provided so delegates can start running LEGO-Based Therapy groups after completing the workshop.

What others have said about Elen's presentations

"LEGO - Based Therapy Facilitator Training with Elen Nathan is a must for autistic people wanting to learn to support other autistic people, especially young people. This was the first non autistics-for-autistics space I have ever been in where the facilitator spoke our language, articulated our cultural understanding and had thrown every stereotype about autistics away. This isn't just Lego-therapy facilitator training. It is a safe place for autistics. It is the kind of experience every autistic person deserves to have. It is where I got to hear that the non-autistic community can and does get it, that our gifts and our right to self-determination and leadership are understood and that there is huge room for hope. For once, as an autistic public speaker and educator, I heard the understanding I strive to create in society coming back at me from a non-autistic person in a public forum. I can't describe that feeling. I had no idea how tired I was of being a rare voice.

Go check this training out if you are autistic. Elen is a genuine ally and not afraid to speak our truth. I wasn't even particularly into Lego. But even that has changed! I'm so glad I took a chance - steeling myself for the usual stereotypes and fear of having to listen to my kind of people being discussed like problems to be fixed. It happens so often I have just come to expect it. But not with Elen Nathan. I'm so glad I did this training. Elen rocks it with the performative energy of a visionary
Annie Southern, PhD - The Different Kind of Human Project

"Elen's presentations are always clear and informative. Elen clearly highlights key take-home messages and she often uses different mediums to enhance meanings to her lectures. "   -School Physiotherapist. 

Elen is an engaging, authentic and knowledgeable presenter who took the participants on a learning journey, though excellent slides, evidence based information, experience as a professional and parent and relevant, meaningful video clips”. Wendy - Child Development and Movement Consultant. 

"Elen shared her extensive knowledge through a lively presentation keeping the audience engaged. Warm and approachable, her sharing of personal anecdotes kept it very real for the audience and they connected to this and to Elen herself! We have had immediate requests to run another session with Elen!"

Young Participant Testimonials LEGO- Based Therapy

I wish I could come to LEGO club everyday.” 

I think this is where I belong.”

I love it here, everyone in the club is pretty cool - we talk the same” 

Who Should Attend:

This workshop is suitable for Psychologists, Counsellors, Teachers, Teacher Aides, RTLB's, Speech and Language Therapists, clinical and allied staff, key workers, SENCOs and occupational therapists.

Understanding Sensory Needs in the Classroom

This workshop also with Elen Nathan provides an introduction to sensory processing and how to support individuals effectively. It is suitable for Teachers, Teacher Aides, RTLB's, Speech and Language Therapists,  SENCOs, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Counsellors.

Click Here for more information

The following peak bodies and organisations recognise that the training we offer is of a high quality, evidence based and relevant for their members CPD.

We appreciate the support of Imagination Station with the Christchurch workshop.

About the Presenter:

Elen Nathan

Elen Nathan is a NZ registered Occupational Therapist in Napier and is currently studying post-grad in Ayres Sensory Integration. With 20 years experience in NZ and abroad working with children and adults who have diverse needs, she has specialised in Autism Spectrum Disorder which has led her to work in peak body organisations including Autism New Zealand, The National Autistic Society (UK) and Autism Victoria (AUS).

Elen is passionate about working with neuro-diverse children to build their self-esteem and self- worth through understanding themselves better, the intrinsic strengths they have, and the gifts they have to offer the world.  

As the Mum of 2 busy young boys, they have taught her that often children come with their own plan and need an understanding team in their corner coaching them through life's challenges. 

Dates & Locations


Thursday, 10 November 2022 & Friday, 11 November 2022

The Parnell Hotel & Conference Centre
10/20 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052

Please be aware that you will be seated in groups of 3 per table and this is an interactive workshop.

Limited onsite or street parking available.

Workshop times - 9.0am - 3.45pm, with Registration with Welcome tea & coffee from 8.30am


Friday, 12 May 2023

Breakfree on Cashel
165 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City

Please be aware that you will be seated in groups of 3 per table and this is an interactive workshop.

FYI - there are also a number of inner-city parking options surrounding the hotel including:

Click here for the Christchurch City Council Carparking Map 

Wilson Parking

Workshop times - 9.0am - 3.45pm, with Registration with Welcome tea & coffee from 8.30am


Friday, 23 June 2023



Workshop times - 9.am - 3.45pm, with Registration with Welcome tea & coffee from 8.30am

Covid 19 Alert level changes

IMPORTANT: New Zealand moved into the Covid-19 Protection Framework (or ‘Traffic Light System’) in December 2021. In line with the recommendations of the Framework, the venues request that surgical face masks be worn by attendees and social distancing measures be adhered to. 

Please be aware you will be seated together in groups of 3 to preform activities and hand sanitiser will be available at the venue. Your presenter Elen Nathan is triple vaccinated.

Please Note: We are actively following Ministry of Health advice relating to COVID-19 levels and our team will contact those registered for events which may have changes in delivery. Please be aware of our Cancellation Terms below if a change is required from a face-face event to the workshop being delivered online.

Price & Registration

$355.00 inc GST

The price stated is per person. The Earlybird special ends 3 weeks prior to the workshop date.
If you are sending 5 or more delegates, please email us for a discounted rate.

Once you have registered, we will be in touch again a week prior to the workshop with further information about the workshop and your special discount code to purchase LEGO from the Warehouse.

Registration process

Payment online is by VISA, Mastercard or American Express only and there are 3 easy steps to complete the online booking process.

Our registration platform is hosted by Lil Regie, our NZ based booking agent. Upon completing your registration by hitting the blue 'Confirm Booking' button, you will receive an automated email confirming the booking and amount paid by credit card. A GST Tax Invoice showing your payment in full will also be emailed to you.

If you have any issues or questions about your booking, please contact Faye Johnson on 027 607 3000 or email: faye@grow.co.nz

Invoicing Information
We work hard to ensure that all workshops are cost effective by automating our systems. If your organisation is unable to use our automated booking system and pay by credit/debit card and therefore require an invoice instead to pay by direct bank credit, there will be a $25.00 inc GST surcharge for this, and you will need to supply the following please:

  1. The full name and postal address required to appear on the invoice.

  2. The contact name and email of the person(s) responsible for authorising this expense and approving payment.

  3. Any purchase order references required on vendor invoices.

Please email this information to Brian - accounts@grow.co.nz and faye@grow.co.nz , and along with the Invoice we will also send you a special booking link which will come up as free of charge. Through this link you will need to complete your registration. 

Our workshops fill quickly so if you would like to reserve a place, please contact faye@grow.co.nz

What happens if you have to cancel?

We know that sometimes your plans can change for many different reasons. Should you be unable to attend, a substitute delegate is welcome to attend at no extra cost. If a substitute delegate is not available and you need to cancel your registration, please be aware of the following:

Face-Face Events - Up to 7 days prior to the event you will be provided a refund of your registration cost, less a $60.00 inc GST per attendee service charge.

Online Events - Up to 7 days prior to the event you will be provided a refund of your registration cost, less a $20.00 inc GST per attendee service charge.

If you cancel within 7 days of the event, you are not eligible to receive a refund. Please note: should your registration not be paid by the time of the event, you are still liable to make the payment. Unpaid accounts may be passed over to our debt collection agency and additional costs may be incurred. 

All cancellations must be received in writing (email). 

Delegates are responsible for their own travel/accommodation bookings and no compensation will be made should the event be rescheduled or cancelled.

Change in Delivery from face-face to online
Please note: Owing to the current COVID 19 situation and uncertainty around future COVID Alert Levels, GROW Ltd reserves the right to offer this face-to-face event via a ZOOM meeting on the same dates shown above due to Ministry of Health advice. Should this occur, we will advise you appropriately and provide you with a refund for the venue and catering costs. The above Cancellation Fees will apply if you wish to cancel.

For more information see our full Terms of Trade.

Further Details

Resources will be emailed to participants prior to the workshop.

Morning tea and lunch are included.

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options will be available. In an effort to keep the price as low as possible, other special dietary requirements are unable to be catered for. You are however welcome to bring your own snacks and lunch.

Post-Event Takeaway Reference Material

In line with our sustainability objectives, conference presentations will not be distributed in hard copy but will instead be available via a weblink to be advised via email following the conference.

Commitment to Access and Equity

We are committed to access and equity and endeavour to meet the needs of all delegates. Please contact Faye - faye@grow.co.nz /  027 607 3000 if you require special assistance. In order to assist us in understanding delegate needs, please advise your access requirements as early as possible. Request at late notice may not be able to be met.

Want to keep up to date with relevant training?

Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.
Upskill and access our FREE resources and workshops.
Be inspired by our subject matter experts!


For further details, please contact:
e: faye@grow.co.nz
p: 027 607 3000