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At Shady Lane Elementary in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel joined Logan Lucas, a student in the Robots4Autism program who has shown remarkable improvement since Milo joined Karen Richie’s special education class. Logan struggled to express his needs and was often frustrated. He would have several incidents a day for hitting and biting others.

“I had staff people that wanted to wear long sleeves,” Richie told the Journal Sentinel. “He was just so difficult to work with, initially.”

Menomonee Falls Superintendent Patricia Fagan Greco was introduced to Milo and Robots4Autism, a program that helps children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) develop social and emotional skills, during a workshop. Working with RoboKind, the creators of Milo, the district was able to bring Milo into two schools on a pilot program. Both schools, Shady Lane Elementary and Burleigh Elementary in Brookfield, have reported a vast improvement in their students’ behavior.

After incorporating Milo into the classroom, teachers and students at Shady Lane noticed a huge change in Logan. To grab his attention, other students learned to wave and would now often receive a wave back. Logan could smile and communicate his needs better.

“It brings tears to my eyes because I’m getting to know my kid,”Nicole Lucas, Logan’s mother, told the Journal Sentinel. H”e’s coming out of his shell that it seems autism had him in.”

Richie said that one of Milo’s most important features is his ability to repeat a lesson the same way every time.

“Consistency is what regulates kids with their world out of control, but this they can control because that person is doing it the exact same way with the feedback they need,” Richie explained.

The 2-foot tall, funky-looking robot with crazy brown hair is friendly and approachable. Milo speaks slower to help ASD learners comprehend his curriculum better. He’s consistent and never gets tired or frustrated. For people who struggle with ASD, Milo is a friend that helps them learn how to communicate more effectively with the world around them.

Read more about Logan and Milo at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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