The LEGO Foundation awards $20 million to the ‘Play for All’ program for neurotic children

In conjunction with Autism Acceptance Month, the new LEGO Foundation is sponsoring play for everyone Neurological Child Support Program. A different form of brain function that does not fall within the neurotypical range of brain activity is referred to as neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is a strengths-based perspective that enables children with diverse diagnoses, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADD”/“ADHD”) and dyslexia, to recognize differences in relation to “normal variability” in humans.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately one billion people (15% of the world’s population) suffer from some form of disability. In the area of ​​neurological variation, 1 in 160 children will be diagnosed with autism. In addition, it is estimated that 5% of the world’s population has AD(H)D disease (diagnosed and undiagnosed).

To ensure these children’s progress, the LEGO Foundation has launched a new Accelerator program: Play For everyone. This is a fixed-term, equity-free funding and mentoring program for social enterprises, businesses, and organizations that seek to support children with autism and children with ADHD through play-based learning.

When children with diverse nerves are understood, valued, and empowered, everyone benefits from their important and often extraordinary contributions. Inventors, scientists, and artists branching out from the nerves have reshaped entire industries. I am pleased that the LEGO Foundation is committed to investing in reshaping the world of play and learning, so that innovators, professionals, and people with live experience can collectively build a future that supports the full participation of diverse children in society.

Dr. Maureen Dunn (Senior Counselor and Specialist in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

The Brick-by-Brick program, which was launched last year, aims to enable children to understand how their brains are wired to communicate, rather than pressure them to make presentations or communicate in stereotypical, neurotic ways. Studies based on the results of empirical research have shown the extent to which children with autism and children with ADHD are able to benefit from enjoyable child-help activities that focus on learning through play. This achievement is the inspiration behind the All-Play Accelerator.

While there are some resources and support services for neurodiversity, these resources are underfunded worldwide. There is also a lack of private support in the field of education and development. The research projects, already well funded, are primarily concerned with enhancing the understanding of causes and diagnoses. Educational technology is primarily adapted to children with bifurcated nerves, and is not designed for them; However, some basic and most important needs of children with bifurcated nerves are not being met.

What is the project about: Play for All

The goal of the Play for All project is to create greater awareness, understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity and to challenge the stigma of diagnosis worldwide. The aim is to promote products, services, and platforms that reveal new innovations that can help bridge gaps, address shortages, inspire and extend play-based learning experiences in schools, the home and communities, and give all children equal opportunities. Ultimately, the game helps children find and improve their strengths, giving them the best possible chance of making friends, learning at school, and preparing for a successful life.

So how is the Play for All project implemented? Available funds of US$20 million (about €18.5 million) will be made available to 25 social enterprises, organizations and/or social enterprises from around the world. The inaugural program is currently running – from April 2022 to February 2023. Entrants will be guided through a three-phase selection process, which provides funding, mentorship and fun learning at each stage.

To reach Stage 2, organizations must apply before a panel including the LEGO Foundation, venture capital experts, and paid and pediatric neuroscientists. 12 successful candidates progress to the final application stage, where ideas are tested and final plans are made. Depending on the results, a maximum of five organizations will become long-term partners of the LEGO Foundation, who will receive funding to expand their ideas and innovations and generate evidence that will benefit more children with neurodiversity worldwide.

More information about Neural Divergence and the Play for All project can be found on the Play for All website.

Leave a Comment