Go Baby Go! build helps local 2-year-old with mobility

Posted on May 11th, 2023

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, Char-Em ISD staff worked with Boyne City High School robotics students, Bear River Electric volunteer engineers, and community volunteers to customize a child-size ride-on vehicle for a 2-year-old boy with disabilities who resides in the Boyne Falls School District.

This project is inspired by Go Baby Go!, a national program whose mission is to promote mobility in very young children with disabilities. Go Baby Go! teams modify battery-powered ride-on toy vehicles to meet the unique and specific needs of the rider.

These vehicles give children the opportunity for mobility to keep up with their friends, families and peers! Char-Em ISD staff have participated in several Go Baby Go! builds over the years.

Bennett Day, age 2, and his family were on-site for the modification of a child-size Silverado to help Bennett keep up with his friends and family.

To help Bennett control his new ride, the team installed a “switch” button mounted to the steering wheel. They also installed a roll bar with handles so he can pull himself up on the vehicle.

“There’s no real manual for how you’re going to do the build,” said Nicole Lindwall, Early On Coordinator/Early Childhood Social Worker for Char-Em ISD. “Each car is modified to support the very individual and unique needs of each child.”

Lindwall said participating in a project like this is important because it gives the child the opportunity of freedom.

“When you think of any 2-year-old, what first comes to mind: They are laughing and running away from you — that’s freedom for that child,” Lindwall said. “For our small children with physical disabilities, they’re unable to move themselves without adult support. So, what a Go Baby Go! car does, it gives them the freedom to move themselves.

“It gives them the freedom to drive away from their parents in the same way that a small child would run away from their parents giggling. It gives them the freedom to approach another child and have a social interaction. I think we can’t really underestimate the importance of that for a small child.”


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