How AV1 helped a student through depression and EBSA

The first time Idun, from Sweden, was introduced to AV1 was at the start of school in the sixth grade. Idun then needed healing time after depression with extensive emotionally based school avoidance.

"Before the robot, I missed hanging out with my friends at breaks and lessons. I also missed the environment at school."

Says Iduns. Her mother Annelie works as a special education teacher and has written both articles and books on the topic of school absenteeism. She heard about AV1 and suggested the tool to the school, who already knew about AV1 robots, as another school in the same area used them.

Once the robot was in place, Idun says that she herself was unsure whether the tool would work:

"At first I thought it seemed a bit cheesy and I didn't really understand the concept. I was afraid it might be a waste of money or something, but after trying it, it was as good as it gets."

The tool was well received at the school

According to both Annelie and Idun, the robot was well received at the school and the tool was easy to use for the vast majority. Idun says:

"It took a little while for the less tech-savvy teachers to get used to the robot, but otherwise it wasn't a big deal. Then there were some students who didn't really understand what it was at first and then they whispered a little about it. But there were never any stupid comments, just curiosity."

AV1 was named Klas

Idun says that she and her classmates in the "extended classroom" named the robot Klas after Klas(srum), and that Klas was decorated with stickers and various pearl necklaces that Idun made herself.

Mother Annelie laughs at the name and explains that the extended classroom was an effort that was made in parallel at the school:

"Idun was part of a small group at the school called the extended classroom where many of those in the same grade, or other grades, can be when they need to."

Attended from home from her desk

When Idun connected to Klas, she used to sit at her desk at home and use her mobile phone or school iPad. Idun says:

"The robot used to be first in the extended classroom before the lesson started, then the teacher or students going into the same lesson took turns carrying Klas in. After the briefing was over, the robot was placed in the extended classroom again and we did the tasks in there."

Mother Annelie adds that for a period Idun attended school on site when she could and that on the other days she could choose for herself whether she wanted to rest or participate via Klas.

Extra fun with the robot's features

Idun is currently in the seventh grade and has a positive attitude to the question of whether she thinks the school robot has been helpful:

"Yes, I think it helped to participate via Klas. It made me feel more involved and it was a lot of fun to be physically involved, even if you weren't really. Then it was very well designed. For example, I could change the sound volume, raise my hand and turn on a do not disturb function. It was extra fun to be able to change the robot's facial expression."

More than just a distance tool

Mother Annelie is also positive about the robot and believes that AV1 enables more than just participation from a distance:

"Just as Idun says, it's about the physical presence. I think that when you have extensive absences, it is precisely that you have to juggle with different things and this robot is quite undemanding. It allows the student to participate to varying degrees depending on the type of day and follow what is happening around them. It also creates an easier way back to the classroom."

Annelie further points out that the school robot works best when it is part of various efforts, such as along with the extended classroom. She finds it difficult to see it as a single effort, but points out that it can be a rather large and decisive piece of the puzzle.

In conclusion, both Annelie and Idun interject that Klas is no longer used at their home.

"Now the robot can help someone else instead, so that's great."

Says Idun, smiling.

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