Research has shown that Independent mobility is linked to cognitive, social, motor, and language benefits in young children. Independent mobility is different than being pushed in a stroller, or being carried from one place to another – it is active control over one’s own exploration. 1-5
For typical children, independent mobility begins with rolling, transitions to crawling and culminates with walking. For children with mobility-limiting conditions, independent and volitional environmental exploration may be hard or impossible. That’s where the Go Baby Go Project comes in!
Originating out of the University of Delaware, the Go Baby Go Project has expanded to become a national, community based research, design and outreach program that provides modified ride-on-cars to children ages 0-3 years who experience limited mobility.
Currently, there are no commercially available devices for young children with mobility issues to get around on their own. Power chairs cost thousands of dollars and are typically only available for older children. Go Baby Go modified ride-on-cars are adapted to enable young children experience independent mobility and facilitate socialization. And for approximately $200 worth of modifications, Go Baby Go modified cars provide children with limited mobility the opportunity to be “just a kid.”
One way in which cars are adapted for children in the Go Baby Go project includes the addition of an easy access switch. Generally placed on the steering wheel, the switch which requires only a light touch allows children to bypass the foot pedal to make the car go.
Other car adaptations include more supportive seating, including padding and the addition of external frames for postural support. Some parents have even used the Firefly Go To Seat as a more supportive seating option.
With access to age appropriate toys, and the ability to move, Go Baby Go is enabling children of all abilities to embrace their childhood. How a child’s moves isn’t as important as understanding that they have control of the movement.
Interested in trialing a Go Baby Go car? NAPA LA has one in house! Ask you therapist to let your child give it a whirl at their next appointment. And visit this site to find a local chapter of Go Baby Go near you!
NAPA Center is a multidisciplinary treatment facility that specializes in helping children with a range of speech, mobility and cognitive indications. We believe that all children are unique and deserve a custom designed solution over a one-size-fits-all approach to therapy.