UCF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program hosted a second UCF Go Baby Go! workshop to retrofit motorized toy cars for young children with special needs.

UCF physical therapy faculty members and students, administrators, and engineering students, along with family and community members, gathered for the workshop Dec. 4, from 1 to 5 p.m., at UCF’s Morgridge International Reading Center.

They modified off-the-shelf toy cars for 16 toddlers with limited mobility using readily available parts. Afterwards the children learned to drive their cars and had an opportunity to explore their surroundings.

Research shows that children with new-found mobility are empowered to be part of the action. They demonstrate increased social interaction, motor skills and cognitive development.

GoBabyGo is a national movement led by Cole Galloway, a professor, physical therapist and associate chair at the University of Delaware. The National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation fund much of his work.

Galloway worked with Jennifer Tucker, a UCF physical therapy faculty member and pediatric physical therapist, to lead the latest workshop. They led the first UCF Go Baby Go! toy car workshop in May, when cars were built for 11 children.

Community interest in the UCF mobility initiative has grown considerably since the first workshop, Tucker said. New mobility projects and additional workshops are being planned for the coming months in partnership with Galloway.

Learn more about UCF Go Baby Go! at www.ucfgobabygo.org.

View additional photos at https://bit.ly/1TUFQ5c.

(Top photo by Abi Bell)