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Modified Toy Cars for Mobility and Socialization: Case Report of a Child With Cerebral Palsy

Huang, Hsiang-han OT, ScD; Ragonesi, Christina B. PT, DPT; Stoner, Tracy PT, DPT, PCS; Peffley, Terri OTR/L; Galloway, James C. PT, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000001
Case Report

Purpose: Children with cerebral palsy have limited opportunities to explore their physical and social environment. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a “ride-on toy car” as a readily available, low-cost, fun, and functional option for children with special needs.

Methods: Brenden, a 21-month-old child, was provided a modified ride-on toy car for a 15-week study period divided up into a 1-week baseline, 12-week intervention, and 2-week postintervention. We coded mobility and socialization measures from video recordings.

Results: Brenden was more mobile and had more vocalizations during the 12-week intervention.

Conclusions: Modified toy cars have serious potential to be a fun and functional power mobility option for children with special needs. The opportunity now exists to quantify several effects, including peer socialization, cognitive measures, and body structure/function goals involving neural, muscular, and skeletal physiology. Group study is required to formally test these findings.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.A case study of a child with CP using an adapted toy car demonstrates improved mobility and vocalizations. The work paves the way for a larger study of this intervention.

Department of Occupational Therapy and Graduate Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Healthy Aging Research Center (Dr Huang), Chang Gung University, Kwei-Shan Tao-Yuan, Taiwan; Infant Behavior Lab, Department of Physical Therapy (Ms Peffley and Drs Ragonesi, Stoner, and Galloway) and Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Program (Drs Ragonesi and Galloway), University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Correspondence: Hsiang-han Huang, OT, ScD, Department of Occupational Therapy and Graduate Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Healthy Aging Research Center, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Rd, Kwei-Shan Tao-Yuan, Taiwan (

Grant support: This project funded in part by a NICHD grant R21 HD058937 to JCG.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest, and they do not endorse any specific product.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.