Technology-Based Interventions for Students with Autism

About Milo

Milo is an advanced robot designed to teach behavioral and social skills to students with autism. Milo teaches lessons to learners with ASD through videos and interactive activities. Milo has the ability to talk and express emotions, fostering a fun and encouraging learning environment for the student. Some examples of Milo’s lessons include greetings, resolving problems, identifying and interpreting emotions, and engaging in appropriate social behavior.

See Milo in Action: Beaufort County School District

Checklist: Is your school an appropriate match for TECH for Autism study?

    • Good wi-fi connection throughout the building or at least in the spaces where students will be using the robot. Two tablets with touchscreens that can be used alongside the robot. iPads are recommended for the curriculum (iOS 11.3 or higher). Chromebooks and Kindle are not compatible.
    • IT staff will be provided with training and technical support to set up the robot and associated tablets.
    • Facilitators are staff that will work with the student with autism and the robot-based curriculum. They will be selected by the school and can include: special education teachers, general education teachers, paraprofessionals/classroom aides, speech language pathologists, autism specialists, and other specialists.
    • Facilitators will be provided training on how to use the robot. Initial training will include a half day workshop explaining the robot and giving a basic orientation to the curriculum.
    • Schools can have several people trained to be facilitators.
    • Facilitators will need to allocate time during the school day -- the robot and related curriculum are designed to be used with each student with autism three times a week. A facilitator must lead each session.

The Team

Principal Investigator

Sarah Hurwitz, PhD
Indiana University – Bloomington School of Education
Assistant Professor, Special Education


  • Patricia Muller, PhD, Center for Evaluation, Policy, and Research
  • Derek Nord, PhD, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
  • Anne-Maree Ruddy, PhD, Center for Evaluation, Policy, and Research
  • Natalie Bengert, School Psychology Graduate Student
  • Blaine Garman-McClaine, Special Education Graduate Student
  • Olivia Heck, School Psychology Graduate Student
  • Nicole Rodriguez, School Psychology Graduate Student
  • Alexandria Thielmeyer, School Psychology Graduate Student

Advisory Board

  • Sarah Hurwitz, Ph.D.
    Principal Investigator of the TECH for Autism study and an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Indiana University 
  • Cathy Pratt, Ph.D.
    Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) and the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative at Indiana’s Institute on Disability and Community
  • Derek Nord, Ph.D.
    Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) and an Associate Professor of Special Education at Indiana University
  • Nancy Holsapple, Ph.D
    Indiana Director of Special Education
  • Kathleen Hugo, Ph.D.
    Director of Special Elementary Education for the Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Mandy Rispoli, Ph.D
    Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies at Purdue University
  • Pam Bell
    Director of Special Education for the Dubois Spencer Perry Exceptional Children's Cooperative
  • Kris Baker
    Special Education Coordinator at Shelbyville Central Schools
  • Kim Dodson
    Executive Director of The Arc of Indiana
  • Daniel McNulty
    State Director of the PATINS Project
  • Hannah Carlock
    Director of Public Policy for the Arc of Indiana