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Families With Children Who Have Mobility Disabilities Receive Adapted Toy Cars Custom Built For Them By PT Students | NEWS-Line for School and Community Healthcare Professionals

Families With Children Who Have Mobility Disabilities Receive Adapted Toy Cars Custom Built For Them By PT Students


Physical therapy students at Chatham University are distributing toy vehicles adapted through the University’s GoBabyGo! program to five families with children with mobility disabilities.

Students in the program posted on Facebook announcing the opportunity and within a few days they’d heard from numerous families in the Pittsburgh region whose children would benefit from a custom adaptation. The Go Baby Go cars are made available to each of the nine families free of charge and made possible through donations made to the program, largely through a school-wide penny wars event at Fox Chapel’s Dorseyville Middle School.

Modifications include harnesses, pool noodles for cushioning, pool kick boards for a head rest, etc. Students and faculty will also will teach the parents how to operate the car via the remote control that is included with it. This allows the child to enjoy the ride without operating it themselves if they are not yet able to steer/control it (and allows the parents to have control when need be).

According to Lynne M. Gillott, Chatham University Physical Therapy Doctoral Candidate, the modified toy cars give children with mobility disabilities a chance to play and socialize with their peers more easily. Past research has shown that independent mobility is linked to cognitive, social, motor, language and other developmental benefits in young children. Being pushed in a stroller or being carried from one place to another is fundamentally different from having active control over one’s own exploration, which is where the developmental gains are seen. Beyond mobility and socialization, the ride-on cars provide children with disabilities a chance to just be a kid.

Go Baby Go was originally founded at the University of Delaware but researchers have now trained volunteers in more than 40 communities nationally and internationally with satellite sites all over the world to expand availability.

VIDEO of the first GoBabyGo! adaptation developed at Chatham University:

Part of Chatham’s School of Health Sciences, the Physical Therapy program educates doctors of physical therapy who will advance the quality of human life through excellence in clinical practice. Chatham University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program produces highly-skilled physical therapists by emphasizing critical thinking and self-directed learning using a hybrid problem-based learning approach. We graduate PTs who will meet the challenges of a dynamic healthcare environment and support scholarly activity that bridges science and clinical practice.

Source: Chatham University

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