Children with mobility impairments drive toy cars

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COLUMBIA - Kids drove cars on Sunday thanks to the efforts of 'Go, Baby Go!' an event aimed to help children with mobility impairments. 

About 15 occupational therapy, physical therapy and engineering students from the University of Missouri created custom-fit toy cars based off clinical assessments to improve the movements of day-to-day life for the children. 

The College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware started the Go, Baby Go! program. There are now about 40 programs across the nation hosting their own programs.

Assistant professor Bill Janes from the Department of Occupational Therapy, helped start a Go, Baby Go! chapter at the University of Missouri during the fall of 2016. Janes said MU’s take on the program is a collaborative one in comparison to other universities. 

“We can do differently here from a lot of the other places that do Go,Baby Go!," Janes said. " We have contributions here from the School of Health Professions and physical therapy, and occupational therapy, from the college of engineering, and some of our nurse practitioners out in MU Health. So we bring expertise from across the entire university together."  

Carly Bowman, an occupational therapy student, participated in the program last year, and came back this year to help out. 

“I want to work with children with disabilities, so that's why I'm most drawn to it. It's just amazing when you see the kids get into the cars, and are so excited because they've never had something that they could use for these purpose,” Bowman said.  

Leen, 2 years old, was one of the children who received a toy car. While students customized the car, Katie Lammers, Leen's physical therapist helped with the finishing touches.  

“It's great that it's a toy, and that it's a toy that gives her mobility that she otherwise doesn't have. She can move around in an upright position. She can play with her brother and sister more easily. She can have some freedom to go where she wants to go, and do what she wants to do that she otherwise doesn't have yet," Lammers said. 

Children zoomed around once students finished improvements on the toy-cars. Meanwhile, Janes had one hope. 

“My hope for today is that every kid that shows up today ends up... better able to access their world, to do the things they want to do, whether that's at home or out in their community. So that they continue to develop into the people that they want to be in the long-run.” 

This was the last big build for Go, Baby Go! at MU, but Janes said the team will continue to provide individual builds throughout the year. 

 

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