McCarthy Teszler School in South Carolina is the first in its district to join the Robots4Autism program. The school created for children with special needs has always sought to give their students the best education possible by leveraging new practices and technology. Studies show that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) connect better with technology, which is one of the reasons why RoboKind’s Milo is so successful.
“The best way to think about Milo is a bridge between our world and their world,” Kylie McKinney, an autism specialist at McCarthy Teszler School, told The State, an online publication. “They’re sometimes so entranced in technology, but Milo draws their attention up to him.”
“Many of the students who have worked with the robot have an easier time interacting with devices like smartphones or iPads,” Elena Ghionis, another autism specialist at McCarthy Teszler School, told The State.
Milo uses other devices to help teach ASD learners how to recognize emotions through activities and videos displayed on iPads.
McCarthy Teszler School has a few success stories about Milo. The first is of a fifth-grader who learned how to recognize emotions in others and self-regulate his reactions. The second is of 8-year-old twins who were nonverbal. After a year of working with Milo, the twins are able to communicate in a limited capacity and their educational skills have improved. A recent case study at the school with Milo shows that 8 out of 17 students show great improvement.
“He teaches those kids emotional recognition, social skills, and communication skills,” Ghinois continues in the same article. “For many years, we were looking for any kind of curriculum that could include those three pieces.”
Robots4Autism breaks the three skill sets over five modules which allow an ASD learner to move at their own pace. He helps the child develop a level of comfort that can then be transferred to other situations outside the Robots4Autism setting. If one thing can be said about this recent news coverage, Milo’s new friends have an even brighter future.