A Williams Valley Elementary student received the surprise of his life last week when his Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) rolled into the school as a robot. Christian is an eleven-year-old tech-enthusiast attending the elementary school. He has been meeting with his online TinyEYE SLP for a year now, was one of the driving forces behind this new addition to the school.
“Christian is very insightful and computer savvy,” says Nancy Koscho, his therapist. “But one day while we were working on therapy techniques he seemed very distracted. He is usually very engaged throughout our sessions.”
Christian quickly told Nancy that when they logged in for their session that day, he had seen a robot on the TinyEYE homepage. Nancy explained TinyEYE’s new robots to Christian and he ‘went wild’. Christian is currently working on slowing down his speech rate and to stretch out his speech from word to word, to improve his fluency. At this point, Nancy could not get Christian to slow down but what he was saying was very clear and fluent: “…we have to get one! You can come into my classroom and meet my friends, and they can meet you, and you can see how good I do with my speech in the classroom, and then you can come with me to the cafeteria and see how bad I do there. You can help me there and my friends can see how we work and then they can help me, too. We will have to use the elevator because you can’t use the steps…”
Later that week, Christian went to see Williams Valley’s Special Education Director, Brian Lacey. Brian didn’t know about the robot at the time, and wasn’t familiar with what Christian was talking about. However, Christian had done his research. He had gone onto the TinyEYE website the night before, where he had read all of the information available about the robot and what it could do for the school. Empowered by the school’s endorsement of innovation and new opportunities, Brian quickly set about obtaining a robot for their school.
Williams Valley will be using their new telepresent robot to provide classroom services to one of the Kindergarten classes. Christian can’t wait to introduce his therapist Nancy to his friends, and has created his own TinyEYE t-shirt to help him do so!
Want to find out if online therapy or a robot is the right fit for your school?
This is part of a 12-week blog series on Robots and Online Therapy by TinyEYE Therapy Services.
Previous posts:- Rethinking Learning: Special Education in the 21st Century
- Four Common Misconceptions about Online Therapy: Busted
- Q&A: Robots in Schools - Your Questions, Answered
- Can a robot REALLY teach my students?
- Innovation Sensation – Teletherapy All Grown Up
- Students LOVE Innovative Speech Therapy Technology in the Classroom
- When Worlds Collide: TinyEYE Therapy Services brings Robots into the Classroom