Across South Carolina, robots help autistic students with social skills in an attempt to reach children who often do not interact with other people. 21 Robots4Autism, made by the Dallas-based educational technology company RoboKind will be in South Carolina classrooms this fall.
“There are children who will talk to Milo who may not speak to a human, even their parents,” said Molly Spearman, South Carolina. Education Superintendent. “It’s just a fantastic tool that we’re putting in the hands of therapists and teachers across the state.”
Money from the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will fund the purchase of the foot tall robots who look like dolls, and the accompanying curriculum. Approximately $250,000 to $300,000 will be spent testing the program over three years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appvoximately one in 68 children has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, a range of developmental issues which can result in difficulty with social cues, difficulty speaking, and focus on narrow interests.
Since the first known therapeutic use of a robot to help an autistic child in 1976, the technology has become more common and less expensive. Several companies market robots to school systems.