Special Kids recently integrated one of the pediatric therapy field’s newest innovations for children with special needs through the University of Delaware’s Go Baby Go project.
The Go Baby Go project was created to provide mobility to children who have trouble moving on their own through modifying toy powered ride on cars. The modified cars help young children to interact with their environment and peers in a way they otherwise could not.
“The Go Baby Go cars allow the children to have a very early experience with power mobility,” said Katie Ritz, Lead Physical Therapist at Special Kids. “Being independently mobile is critical to children, particularly in their developing social skills, vision skills and cognition.”
The toy cars are modified by attaching plastic piping, foam water noodles, harnesses, and oversized push power buttons. Each car is modified specially for the child to provide appropriate support and to promote therapeutic goals such as upper body movement and lower extremity strengthening.
Special Kids has already assisted three children in receiving their own toy cars. In May, 23-month-old Finley Switzer received his car at a Go Baby Go conference he attended with his family and Ritz. “Before Finley had no way to move independently,” said Ritz. “But now, he is able to participate in things a typical child is able to participate in.” Saturday, Switzer showed off his new ride when he drove in Murfreesboro’s Small Fry Tri and was able to chase his 7-year-old brother, Preston Switzer, in the children’s triathlon.
Several other children with special needs receiving therapy at Special Kids would benefit from their own Go Baby Go car. To help meet this need, Special Kids is currently seeking donations to raise $6,000 to launch a community-wide build day for the children’s cars. Each car costs an average of $300 to purchase and modify for the child’s needs. To purchase a toy car for a child or make a donation of any amount, visit specialkidstn.com/go-baby-go.
More about Special Kids:
Special Kids is a Christian nonprofit offering rehabilitation and nursing services to children with special needs. The Murfreesboro-based ministry started with one child in 1998 and has grown to serve over 2,600 children from 18 counties in middle Tennessee. For more information about Special Kids, please visit specialkidstn.com or call 615.893.4892.