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 the 3% of teachers who use traditional therapy.
“When you bring technology into it, it’s something they can engage with it’s something that’s less overwhelming to them,” Margolin continued in his interview with CBS.
ASD learners have a hard time maintaining eye contact with others, but with Milo, students are more engage. Non-verbal children speak to Milo and practice those lessons at home with others. He teaches them how to smile, how to greet and how to remain calm in frustrating situations. Keenan, a first grader at Kipp Truth Academy, says working with Milo has helped him to communicate with others.
“He’s using his words,” Principal Katie Hill said to CBS News. “He’s able to isolate what he’s feeling or thinking.”
Milo is currently in 285 schools around the country, helping children like Keenan connect with their environment. Margolin hopes to expand to over 2,000 schools by the end of the year.