“Avatar” helps girls – Johanna (12) is in school twice


A 12-year-old in Vienna turned her painful medical history into a success story with the help of her “avatar” in the school classroom.

Johanna is a twelve-year-old like many others: she loves her dog the most, there is a lot of pink in her room and she sometimes rolls her eyes when her mother says something. And Johanna is a robot – it depends on the point of view: while she attends classes at home on the computer, she is the “avatar” for her class in the front row.

Full program, from pointing to whispering
The cute robot head sits next to Johanna’s best friend at school and can do everything she can: move, hear and see everything, have a say, point – and amaze, laugh or get mad with his glowing eyes. Even whispering works: “Then I just press the whisper button,” reveals the lively girl.

All instead of a horror scenario
It would be too dangerous for Johanna to go to school with the other children: she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – a rare incurable connective tissue disease in which even the smallest injuries can have devastating consequences and can keep her hospitalized for months. Exactly this horror scenario was also reality in the past. The smart girl’s health, like her teaching career, was on the brink – until her mother discovered the Avatar program. Meanwhile, the “two Johannas” only write one.

The avatar is not about “packaged homeschooling”: the device allows children to take the lessons in a diverse and self-determined way that you can only do as a class. It’s also about being able to do what kids do – including a break in the schoolyard: “The others are taking me,” Johanna is a little puzzled by the question. Once, she also admits, she was probably a little too rude to the math teacher this year – whereupon he put the avatar in front of the class. As with everyone.

It’s like a gift to me”
Johanna doesn’t like to talk about the time for the Avatar. In addition to rescue, hospital and therapies, there were also children who said that you should not touch them because then you would also get sick. “I ran after them and attacked them so they would know it was stupid.” Today everyone wants to sit next to her in class. “It’s like a gift to me,” she says. Johanna is a brave, seriously ill child. And Johanna is now a happy child with great opportunities in life. It depends on the point of view.

Source: Krone


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