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Robots May Help Kids with Special Needs

The numbers for autism are staggering:

  • 1.8 million cases of autism in the U.S.

 

  • 1 case diagnosed every 20 minutes

 

  • 24,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. every year.

 

  • Lifetime care for an autistic person: $3.2 million.

 

  • Autism care costs annually in U.S.: $35 billion.

 

ASD photoPhoto by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Bonnie Gamane speaks wistfully as she recalls the day last year when a robot named Millennia visited the school she administers. What she saw were children with autism interacting with the robot in a way they never had before interacted with humans.

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The key role of EdTech in Special Education

Some students face more challenges than others in their learning process. They were once labelled as ‘lazy’ or ‘stupid’; today, with our better understanding of the medical conditions that can hinder learning, they are simply students with special needs.

Students with physical or cognitive disabilities require special education teachers who can give them individual attention, which is often a problem for institutions that are understaffed or have a modest budget; however, investing in assistive technology can increase their level of independence and decrease the need for one-on-one time—it does not eliminate the need for special ed teachers completely, but it certainly reduces the strain. Let’s see how.

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Feature a Teacher: NAO Assisting Students Across a Broad Spectrum


Benjamin Durham is a science teacher at Lane Technical High School in Chicago who has been using NAO in Robotics 2 and Adaptive Robotics. In Robotics 2, an intermediate-level robotics class, students use both Choregraphe and Python to program NAO. Many of these students have aspirations of going into medical or social work, and wanted hands-on experience of what robots might be able to do in these fields.

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Feature a Teacher: NAO Assisting Students Across a Broad Spectrum


Benjamin Durham is a science teacher at Lane Technical High School in Chicago who has been using NAO in Robotics 2 and Adaptive Robotics. In Robotics 2, an intermediate-level robotics class, students use both Choregraphe and Python to program NAO. Many of these students have aspirations of going into medical or social work, and wanted hands-on experience of what robots might be able to do in these fields.

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