SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – At Springfield City School’s Warder Park-Wayne Elementary, you’ll find 8-year-old second-grader Ellie Miller learning and enjoying school in a unique and innovative way.
Ellie has Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA, and wasn’t supposed to live past the age of 2.
“She has problems sitting, breathing, doing anything independently,” said Ellie’s mom Nikki Miller.
However, Nikki says regardless of Ellie’s condition, her daughter lives each day to the fullest…and with a lot of personality.
“No matter what she has to do on a daily basis, she does it with a little bit of sass. So, it makes our days pretty fun.”
Although Ellie’s condition prevents her from fully participating in-person at school, her parents decided to look to the help of Double Robotics technology.
“We sign on from home, and she has the ability to move it on an iPad. So, she can move it around the classroom,” said Nikki.
Nikki says things really became possible for Ellie to use Double Robotics in kindergarten, and the tool has changed her daughter’s life. “When she became a part of that classroom and the kids started talking to her just the change in her, in general, was huge. To see her actually be a part of something bigger, and those kids latch on to her and they create friendships.”
Ellie’s presence in the classroom also has a huge impact on her fellow classmates.
“It’s amazing to be able to tell students in your class people are living with disabilities, but they have incredible strengths and incredible value,” said Ellie’s Intervention Specialist teacher Jill Wuebker.
Nikki, also incredibly grateful for the experiences her daughter has gained along the way. “They are still attached to her. They’re still, Ellie how’s it going? That’s all we want as parents, is acceptance for our children.”