To read on People website:
Toy Cars Give Children with Disabilities the Freedom to Move
Commercial wheelchairs for children under three can cost $30,000 and are often not covered by insurance policies, explains Sam Logan, an assistant professor at Oregon State University who established the program at the school, after it was originally founded at the University of Delaware. In the meantime, these children can suffer setbacks in cognitive, language and social development, he explains.
« There’s no reason kids with disabilities shouldn’t have a right to be mobile, » says Logan, who has given nine Go Baby Go trainings across the country since September.
On Wednesday, Oregon State University trained a group of Willamette Education Service District (WESD) clinicians in Salem, Oregon, to alter off-the-shelf, ride-on toy cars using plastic pipes, plastic foam swim noodles, kick boards, fabric fasteners and an activation switch.
The results were awe-inspiring. Toddler Ellie, who usually scoots on her bottom to get around, steered her car confidently around obstacles as her father, Jesse Stafford, clapped and recorded her ride.
She’ll be able to keep up with her 6- and 8-year-old brothers now, her father told the Statesman Journal.
The cars, which cost a total of $200 a piece, can be modified to meet individual children’s needs. One of the kids who received a car, 2-year-old Libbi Cotter, has a congenital heart defect that requires her to be connected to an oxygen tank at all times. Clinicians used fabric fasteners to modify her car to haul the tank behind it.
Two-year-old Libbi, who was adopted from China a year ago, just started crawling two or three months ago, says her father, Mark Cotter.