As with any idea, usually it comes from and is built upon other ideas and dreams. After attending a wheelchair programming course, I drove home full of new knowledge. I felt burdened for younger children, that don’t necessarily have the funding for medical equipment. I thought of kids I have treated thru the years, who rely on other people for every single movement. So I started searching, to see what was “out there” for young kids with disabilities.
The Go Baby Go movement was introduced several years ago by a PT. He also had my same passion for movement, and frustration over not having affordable mobility options for kids. His program inspired a movement of Go Baby Go groups throughout the nation. They usually take 6 volt ride on cars and adapt them so they can be run with single switch input. They also add whatever is necessary to make seating supportive for kiddos.
Here are some websites to check out:
The only limitation to what I was seeing was that the cars needed a child to actually be able to take the steering wheel to drive it. But what able the kids with no upper extremity function? Further research brought me to two amazing guys, Blake Palmer with First Wheels Houston, and Pete Capell at power-of-play.org, formerly Go Baby Go Rocky Top. They had figured out ways to modify cars in ways I did not even know was possible. Regular ride on cars could be driven using multiple switch inputs. They also figured out ways to control the speed and jerkiness of the cars. Check out their sites:
After talking with Blake, I knew immediately that I wanted to model a ministry in Dallas similar to what he was doing in Houston. What I appreciate about Blake is each vehicle is designed specifically to each child’s needs. And he was not just modifying cars; he was also making bumbo scooters. Check these out:
So, we can now provide booster scooters, as well as ride on cars!
But wait, there is more! Many times kids outgrow their therapy equipment, and currently, there is no place in Dallas that recycles pediatric equipment. I have had a couple of donations of pediatric equipment, and would love to give them to anyone who might be looking for something. To be clear: I am not recycling equipment; I am just giving it a place to live until the next family needs it.
That being said, I have:
Two standard toddler size walkers:
A Rabbit dynamic stander, size 1: