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Posts tagged ‘autism’

Robots Give Students with Autism New Learning Opportunities

Students at River Street School in Windsor play Simon Says with the school's new robots. From left are Nick Cote, Natalie Tongue, and Jacob Brown.

Students at River Street School in Windsor play Simon Says with the school’s new robots. From left are paraeducator Kate Westbrook, Nick Cote, Natalie Tongue, and Jacob Brown.

Students at River Street School in Windsor  — a school serving individuals on the autism spectrum and young people with other developmental disabilities — now have access to a unique learning tool straight out of science fiction: robots.

The robots help students with autism to improve their social, sensory, and cognitive skills —and the students are fascinated by them.

“When you’re trying to instruct someone who has autism, you really want to try to use every trick in the book to unlock them and make their lives — and the quality of their lives — better than it is,” said school leader Thomas Parvenski.

Ben and Jerry, named by the students, are NAO robots made by Aldebaran Robotics that the school was able to purchase thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Mike Maloney and Pete Landry Memorial Golf Tournament. They came equipped with 55 applications, and educators can also program their own games, stories, music, and movement to suit the needs of their students.

“It’s better when we develop activities ourselves because we can customize them to our students’ needs,” said speech-language pathologist Ann Sullivan. Read more