KIPP Truth Elementary School was looking for a solution to help teach emotional regulation and behavior skills to their students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Located in a traditionally underserved neighborhood in Dallas, Texas, KIPP Truth is a college prep school that has set independent learning and self-management as primary goals for all students. However, reaching these goals had proved challenging for their students with ASD. Some of the students were non-verbal and all faced severe challenges with self-regulation and social skills, making academic progress difficult, if not impossible.
When Katie Hill, KIPP Truth’s principal, first heard about Robots4Autism from a colleague, she was skeptical. But when she saw Milo in action, she thought, “Wow! This could be really special!” Ms. Hill decided to implement Robots4Autism at KIPP Truth as a way to provide a comprehensive, systematic curriculum that improves the social and self-regulation skills in her students with ASD. The curriculum is delivered through Milo, a highly expressive, advanced social robot designed specifically to model and teach critical skills to learners with ASD. The student and Milo engage through social narratives, with Milo connected to a student’s tablet where the robot can display multiple choice options and show supporting text, icons, and video modeling to enhance the lesson.
As Ms. Hill recalled, as soon as Milo was powered on, the child “could not take his eyes off it” and immediately engaged with and followed all of Milo’s instructions. Ms. Sarah Hoff, the Special Education teacher, reported that eight of her students have been consistently working with Milo throughout the school year. Here are just a few of the results:
- Student-to-student confrontations were eliminated
- Self-regulation was demonstrated by all participating students
- All students showed improvement in social interactions
- Academic gains immediately followed self-regulation
- Students effectively used calm down tools
- IEP goals are now being regularly achieved
These students faced severe challenges with self-regulation and social skills—common issues that made academic progress extremely difficult. Working with Milo and the KIPP staff helped these students learn how to calm down and get along with others. This, in turn, helped them to focus on their academics, providing significantly more opportunities than previously thought possible.
Read the full KIPP Truth Elementary Robots4Autism Case Study.