HOISINGTON, Kansas – It’s been months since Austin Brack has been in a classroom, but that hasn’t stopped him from attending his kindergarten class.
He now uses a robot to go to school.
“It’s been huge for him. It’s given him a little bit more of a purpose,” said Amanda Brack, Austin’s mom.
Austin is diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
It is an illness that causes severe skin reactions to infections.
He’s undergone multiple surgeries, but since his immune system is weakened, he can’t be around too many people.
The robot allows Austin to see and interact with his class.
“They’re very excited about it. They go up and wave at him and talk to him all the time. They have a hard time staying in their seats because they know that Austin’s back,” said Della Boxberger, Austin’s teacher.
Austin can even move the robot and travel with the class.
“When you don’t hang up and push this button, you can still hear them, and you can still play your game,” said Austin.
His parents are just happy that he can virtually be in the classroom.
“That social aspect and academic aspect for him has been huge, and he’s been so excited to be able to return to the classroom even though this is still kind of fun at home, and we are just really blessed to be able to have his opportunity for him.”
The Hoisington school district is renting the robot for Austin, who hopes to return to school after spring break.
The school says that the robot could help other children in their school district in the future.