Milo is making new friends thanks to the Flutie Foundation’s Allison Keller Education Technology program. In March the Flutie Foundation awarded a grant of $52,000 in technology to 12 organizations (each receiving up to $5,000) to help fund educational opportunities for children with ASD. In 1988, The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation was founded by former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie.
Fluite’s son, Doug Jr, was diagnosed with autism at age three. The foundation has raised and granted over $10 million to services helping autistic children throughout America and Canada. In this latest batch of grants, 4 SMART Boards, 10 laptops, 39 iPads, and other technology along with Milo, will support a total of 560 children with ASD.
The emphasis on technology is due to recent studies that suggest ASD learners interact better with technology than humans. Work with Milo has shown that ASD students will interact with Milo 70 percent of the time as opposed to 3 percent when working with just educators. Milo will be joining 127 students at Old Bridge Township Public Schools in New Jersey. His curriculum is designed to teach ASD children the basic of social behavior, which ASD learners often have difficulty understanding. Milo’s non-threatening appearance instills a level of confidence that can then be transferred to real world applications and integration into public school settings.
Milo isn’t just teaching, he’s opening doors of opportunity for ASD learners and giving them the tools they need to succeed in education. This news follows just after the supreme courts’ ruling that public schools must provide children with disabilities an equal and free “appropriate” public education.
“At last, the recognition that schools and school systems have been meeting only minimal or compliance goals rather than ensuring learners with disabilities are learning, improving and growing in their skill and knowledge development to be successful not only in school but in life,” said Dr. Greg Firn, COO of RoboKind and former Superintendent, when news of the ruling broke.
The work that Flutie Foundation and RoboKind are doing is helping ASD children and families move forward to a brighter tomorrow.
To learn more about the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation visit their website.