Go Baby Go


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Cerebral palsy, down syndrome, or certain birth defects … These are just some of the conditions that may cause limited mobility for kids. They can also create barriers like isolating kids from some activities other kids their age take part in. Now a nationwide program is getting these kids moving and steering a path for their success.

Two-year-old Theodore Sherrill is all about playtime.

Theodore’s mother Suzanne Sherrill says, “He loves to play. He loves to do just what everybody else his age loves to do.”

Which is not always easy since Theodore has down syndrome.

Amber Yampolsky, Physical Therapist at Nemours Children’s Hospital says, “The kids with special needs are usually delayed in how they can move. We want to try to give them the ability to move either on time or at least earlier than they would if we kind of waited for their development to progress.”

And that is the mission of go baby go, a program designed to build adaptive toy cars to get kids with mobility impairments moving.

“We believe that mobility is a human right.” Explains Jennifer Tucker, PT, DPT, PCS, Clinical Associate Professor at University of Central Florida

Yampolsky says, “A lot of kids with special needs don’t have the ability to do the foot pedals or to do the steering, so we’re able to adapt the cars so that they just have a button on them. And the kids, even with a very limited amount of mobility, are able to push that button and make the car go.”

This is the first time three-year-old Haddie Ortiz, who has mild cerebral palsy, gets to ride in her car.

“She’s excited. I think it’s one of those things she is going to have control over something that is usually hard for her.” Rachel Ortiz, Haddie’s Mom says.

The same is true for Theodore, who is not letting anything put the brakes on his fun.

Sherrill says, “He doesn’t want to be left out just because he is rocking an extra chromosome.”

“That day isn’t about anything that their child cannot do, it’s about everything their child can do.” Tucker, PT, DPT, PCS explains.

Making sure every kid gets a pass to the fast lane.

Go Baby Go was founded at the university of Delaware, but there are several chapters around the country. The chapter at the University of Central Florida has been around since 2015 and has given more than 160 cars to kids. Typically, when a child outgrows their car, they can bring it back, and the car gets a tune-up before being given to another kid.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.




REPORT #3001

BACKGROUND: Birth defects are common, costly, and critical conditions that affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States each year. Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. That means nearly 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects each year. Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body (e.g., heart, brain, foot). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe. There are a few things that could increase a woman’s chance of having a baby with a birth defect, such as: smoking, drinking alcohol or taking certain drugs, having a medical condition such as obesity and diabetes, taking medications like isotretinoin, having a family history, getting an infection like Zika and cytomegalovirus, having a fever over 101 Fahrenheit or just being an older mother.

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/facts.html#:~:text=defects%20each%20year.-,1,vary%20from%20mild%20to%20severe.)

DIAGNOSIS: Birth defects can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born, depending on the specific type of birth defect. If the result of a screening test is abnormal, doctors usually offer further diagnostic tests to determine if birth defects or other possible problems with the baby are present. These diagnostic tests are also offered to women with higher risk pregnancies, which may include women who are 35 years of age or older; women who have had a previous pregnancy affected by a birth defect; women who have chronic diseases such as lupus, high blood pressure, diabetes, or epilepsy; or women who use certain medications.

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/diagnosis.html)

NEW REGULATIONS: After 10 years of effort, medical researchers at Columbia University have developed a very fast and cheap way to detect the extra or missing chromosomes that most often cause miscarriages or severe birth defects. The method takes less than two hours using a palm-size device and costs $200 per use. With current testing procedures, women can end up paying $1,000 to $2,000, often out of pocket. The technique, developed by Dr. Zev Williams, director of the Columbia University Fertility Center, and his colleagues, uses cells and tissues obtained from existing prenatal screening procedures of embryos and fetuses, or tissue obtained after miscarriages. Its key advantage is that the cells or tissue do not have to be sent to a testing lab — the analysis can be done in the same office that obtained the material, and results are ready in hours rather than days or weeks.

(Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/17/health/birth-defects-testing.html)

* For More Information, Contact:             Camille Dolan


Margot Winick


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