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Early intervention positions students with autism for academic success

Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green, Ohio has created an early intervention program that helps young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between 3 to 5 years-old transition into elementary. Aptly named the Ready Program, Wood County Hospital helps early-diagnosed children develop communication techniques and social awareness that will help with their academic success. “Just sitting at a table is a challenge for some of our students,” Brittany Beightler, an instructor for the Ready Program told Sentinel-Tribune. Students with ASD may have issues maintaining attention during long lessons, or may be easily distracted by outside stimuli. If overwhelmed with information, a child with autism will have a meltdown, as their brain doesn’t know how to sort the information correctly. “We also work with parents on how to be successful at home as well as school, and…

Chuck E. Cheese adds Sensory Sensitivity days to its family menu

Chuck E. Cheese has upped their service game by adding Sensory Sensitivity days at their restaurants. Amanda Moniz, an advocate for autism inclusion, contacted her local Chuck E. Cheese manager Nicole Martel with the idea of hosting a day for children with sensory sensitivity. The idea started at the South Attleboro location, and was quickly adopted by the company. Some 355 establishments are set to add a special day starting this year. “I had approached some other businesses, but they weren’t sure it was a good idea,” Moniz, an outreach coordinator for the Rhode Island office of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders told The Sun Chronicle. “But Nicole said yes right away, as soon as she could get permission from her bosses.” On the first Sunday of every month, the Attleboro Chuck E. Cheese closes its doors to the public, dims the lights, turns off the music, and invites families…

The partnership between Chinese factories and startup companies

It seems that on the bottom of every toy and souvenir there is the classic, “made in china,” tag. For decades China has been the go-to country for mass production of the latest high tech gadgetry, but working with large corporations isn’t cutting it anymore. Instead, factories like Jetta Company Ltd. in Guangzhou, a city in southern China, is stepping away from big companies and lending a helping hand to the little man, entrepreneurs. Bloomberg Technology’s Lulu Yelun Chen looks into why Chinese plants are working with the Startup community, who are going so far as to help fund production costs.  She also interviewed several startup companies to learn about what they look for when deciding which factory to go with. Richard Margolin, co-founder and CTO of RoboKind, gave Chen an inside look into what he considers when partnering with a plant. “There are a lot of fly-by-night factories…

Milo loves making faces in Shelby, Ohio

In Shelby, Ohio, Milo is hard at work helping Joshua Plante learn facial expressions. The Mansfield News Journal, an online publication, joins Joshua as he works through lesson plans with Milo. “I was surprised that he watched all the facial expressions,” Kelly Zakrajsek, Joshua’s mother and intervention specialist at Shelby High School, tells News Journal. Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulties looking at others or holding eye-contact, but with Milo, ASD learners watch in absolute fascination as the little robot smiles and frowns. Some children will go so far as to mimic the expressions shown. To make sure that children aren’t just memorizing the movement, Robots4Autism’s curriculum takes ASD learners through different situations and games to test their comprehension. The lessons are displayed on a tablet for the student to interact with, and a random generator…

Milo captivates at Fern Bluff Elementary’s STEAM Innovation showcase

As a teacher, you are tasked with filling your student’s little noggins with essential knowledge providing the best opportunities in life. Let’s be honest, keeping the attention of a classroom full of high-energy kids is no easy task. You’re competing with a world full of bright lights and sounds. 6-year-olds have their own iPhones, 8-year-olds have better Google-fu than you, and high school students think they know everything because the Internet said so. Parents are demanding the best education their taxpayer money can afford, but you can’t get Jr. to look up from the newest android. You wonder if there is a better solution that isn’t only engaging, but also affordable? Round Rock ISD Fern Bluff Elementary in Austin, Texas found a technology that doesn’t just captivate their students, but engages them on an all-new level. The school recently held a STEAM innovation showcase where…

The Osgood File reports on Milo and Robots4Autism

Milo, a robot designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is making his way across Dallas schools. “Meet Milo, the robot,” Don Champion from CBS News reports from KIPP Truth Academy in Dallas.”He’s got moves – and skills.” Skills he does indeed have. Milo was created to ensure that students with ASD acquire the social skills and appropriate emotional responses that will help them succeed in their academic and social environments. “[They] learn these social skills and are then able to actually start interacting with other people,” Richard Margolin, the co-founder of RoboKind, explained. Milo helps students with ASD through engaging them in non-overwhelming ways. “Milo’s consistent speech patterns and behavior repetitions are key for children with autism,” Margolin told CBS’ Don Champion. “When you bring technology into it, it’s something they can engage…

WCAX.com and CBS check in with Milo and KIPP Truth Academy in Dallas

Robots4Autism and Milo, the robot, are making their way across Dallas schools. “Milo is a new tool teaching children with autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder how to work through social situations in the classroom,” Don Champion from CBS News reports. Make no mistake, Milo is not a commodity. He is a tool created by RoboKind to ensure students with ASD acquire the social skills and appropriate emotional responses that will help them succeed in their academic and social environments. “The goal is that they learn these social skills and are then able to interact with other people,”  Richard Margolin, the co-founder of RoboKind, explained. Milo helps students with ASD through engaging them in non-overwhelming ways. “Milo’s consistent speech patterns and behavior repetitions are key for children with autism,”Margolin told CBS’ Don Champion. “When you bring technology into it… it’s…

CBS On the Bright Side check in with Milo at Kipp Truth Academy

CBS News, On the Bright Side, checks in on Milo at Kipp Truth Academy in Dallas. The Robots4Autism program is in full swing and helping students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) build confidence in social interaction. The program gives children the building blocks for communication and even helps ASD learners develop emotional awareness. “He’s [Milo] a new tool to help teach children with autism how to work through social situations in the classroom,” Don Champion from CBS News said. Perhaps the most important part of Milo is his patience and willingness to repeat lessons, as children with autism need repetition to grasp different concepts. Richard Margolin, cofounder and CTO of RoboKind, told CBS that Milo’s consistent speech patterns and behavior repetitions are key for children with autism. RoboKind points out that robots are able to engage students with ASD 80% more often than…

Educating the Educators: Talking to your child’s teacher

You knew something was different about your son or daughter. They don’t respond to you although the doctor says there is nothing wrong with their hearing. When they do talk, they never look you in the eyes. If something is wrong they can’t tell you why. They throw fits on a regular basis, making it impossible to go out. Finally,  you take your child to the doctor who diagnoses them with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The question on your mind is’ what to do now?’. There is an abundance of information and treatments out there, which, more or less, force a child with ASD to stop a behavior. Traditional therapy seems more like correctional treatment. It forces your child to bend to societal standards and doesn’t address the underlying struggles of your son or daughter. While traditional therapy can improve some of your child’s behavior, it can take months or years for any results. That’s…

Teacher to Principal: Robots4Autism

Being a special education teacher is no easy task. You have to work within a system that has little wiggle room to accommodate students with special needs, and deal with parents who demand the best for their child, all the while giving each of your students the tools they need to succeed beyond your classroom. Working with parents to set realistic IEP goals that can be met in a timely manner can seem like an impossible task, even more so when working with students who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD learners present a different kind of challenge when trying to set and meet IEP goals. With traditional therapy methods it can seem like you are trying to forcefully correct a behavior instead of letting the student naturally step out of their shell.  If the student does make progress towards a goal, there isn’t always a way suitable way to measure their success. Is there a better…

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