Disabled kids can now receive physical therapy while driving their own modified cars.
Over 500,000 American children under the age of 5 have cognitive and physical impairments, but usually only those over the age of three have access to electric wheelchairs. Mobility plays a huge role in children’s ability to socialize and develop, so younger toddlers with mobility impairments can lose years of vital development time as they struggle to keep up with their peers on the playground without wheelchairs. Dr. Cole Galloway, a professor of physical therapy at the University of Delaware, has created a cheap alternative to electric wheelchairs for physically impaired children. After a trip to Toys ‘R’ Us, Galloway realized he could perform $200 modifications on toy cars using cheap supplies like PVC tubing and swimming pool noodles to retrofit them for physically impaired children between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Thus Go Baby Go was formed.
The program has retrofitted around 100 cars, many of which are customized to provide physical therapy for specific impairments. Galloway’s vehicles, which aim to increase mobility and bridge the “exploration gap” between abled and impaired children, have been shown to increase cognitive and motor skills in their drivers. Galloway leads seminars for parents across the country and offers online tutorials and a manual to guide those who wish to modify their own toy cars.
Photo by NationSwell.