To Assist With Your HB21 Application for Autism Services

Applicants interested in benefitting from HB21 must address each of these requirements in the application to be considered for funding. We’ve pre-drafted responses for your use – simple copy and paste where necessary.

(1) The applicant must describe how the program will incorporate evidence-based and research-based design and how the program will include effective use of technology;  

Robots4Autism is a comprehensive intervention program that uses evidence-based practices through purpose-built social, humanoid, facially expressive robot, Milo, to deliver developmental instruction modules with over 130 lessons that teach critical function skills. Milo, and his evidence- and research-based ASD curriculum, is already bridging the gap and creating unprecedented engagement for ASD students in 26 Texas schools. This engagement has resulted in positive outcomes seen within 1-4 months in the following three (3) areas:

  1. Self-regulation and decrease in classroom disruptions and meltdowns;
  2. Increased understanding of human emotions, communication, and social interaction; and
  3. Increased generalizing to human to human interaction

Evidence-based practices include but are not limited to prompting, social narratives, social skills training positive reinforcement, visual supports, modeling, technology-aided instruction and intervention to name a few.

Research base includes clinical studies, empirical studies, qualitative case studies and longitudinal studies.

(2) The applicant must describe how the program will collect empirical data on student achievement and improvement and use that data to support effective program implementation. The applicant should describe the process by which baselines for these metrics will be established; 

Using a dedicated, secure web portal, data is collected, analyzed and reported providing measured progress and improvement in the following four (4) areas:

  1. Lesson completion
  2. Lesson Attempts
  3. Time to respond (engagement and generalizing)
  4. Accuracy of response

Data is exportable and can be accessed at any time. RoboKind has recommended that success represents above 90% to consider mastery. Lessons are recommended to be repeated multiple times in order to move on to the next lesson to ensure that mastery has occurred.

Pre – mid – and post data is collected for each student utilizing the aforementioned data in addition to IEP goal progress and attainment.

Each lesson is accompanied by sample IEP goals.

(3) The applicant must describe how the program will incorporate parental support and collaboration; 

RoboKind provides “parent newsletters” that describe in detail the lesson goals, objectives, and extension support to be used in the home.  Reporting of progress, and improvement throughout the program are provided n easy to read reports.

There are parental/learner guardian data collection protocols to assist with observed generalizing behavior.

(4) The applicant must describe how the proposed program will reflect the diversity of the state and how the program can be replicated for students statewide; 

The Robots4Autism program is in English only.  However, the video supports and modeling have proven powerful for ESL students.

Additionally, over 1500 video vignettes demonstrate ethnic and gender diversity in each lesson.

Statewide replication will be achieved through the training and support provided by the Regional Educational Service Centers reducing or minimizing costs of such services by each ISD.

In addition to the statutory requirements, TEA has established the following program requirements. Applicants must address within the application how they will achieve the following:

(1) The applicant must describe how the program will use innovative approaches to effectively address the unique academic and functional needs of students with autism. Applicants may focus on new and innovative practices, new and innovative ways to remove barriers to effective implementation of accepted practices, or both; 

The Robots4Autism program is incredibly innovative because it utilizes a humanoid, social, facially expressive robot as a tool to help teach social, emotional, behavioral and communicative skills.  Over 1500 video vignettes and 1700 video supports are embedded in social narratives that combine audio and visual integration to increase audio processing.

Additionally, the robot works and integrates with tablet technology for instruction and data collection.

The “scaffolded” instructional design moves students from simple to more complex skill development to ensure generalizing to human to human interaction is accelerated.

The comprehensive curriculum combined with the robot creates a level of engagement that enhances, and leverages coherence for the ASD learner.

(2) The applicant must describe how the program will incorporate meaningful inclusion; 

An objective of Robots4Autism is to see an increase the social, emotional, behavioral and communicative skills with our ASD students.

To that end, the Robots4Autism program teaches social skills that increase both interaction with non-disabled peers, greater access to general curriculum, and an increase in the ASD learners east restrictive environment.

One of the greatest challenges are behavioral issues, meltdowns, and lack of self-regulation by ASD learners.  Research and success stories report significant reductions in inappropriate, inattentive, and disruptive behaviors resulting in an increase of time on task and opportunity to learn.

(3) If the program will coordinate services with private or community-based providers, the applicant must describe coordination of such services. 

Robots4Autism has and continues to work with private therapy providers as well as community-based health organizations (hospitals and clinics).

Where these services are provided and available, the Robots4Autism program can be coordinated and integrated into such practices.

Robots4Autism HB21 Budget