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Teen robotics club teams with Tampa hospital to help kids with developmental disabilities

Therapy cars help develop mental, mobile skills
Posted at 3:59 AM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 06:24:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Theo wants to drive.

The 2-year-old is developmentally delayed. The tiny therapy cars at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa help him develop needed mental and physical skills.

Theo needs to drive.

“This is also about fun,” says Lauren Rosen, a physical therapist at the hospital.

The cars are part of the GoBabyGo! program.

Theo loves to drive.

Two recently-donated therapy cars both need modifications. The problem? They go too fast. The steering wheel is not close enough. The pedals are too far away.

So Rosen invited a very special group to help a lot of little kids with disabilities: The Stealth Tigers.

The Tigers is a robotics club made up of students from Jesuit High School and Academy of the Holy Names.

The club, one of the brightest in the country, was recently featured on HBO’s “Real Sports” show. The kids are wizards with circuitry and wiring. However, this new assignment with Theo has an extra dose of heart and soul.

“It gives us more motivation to get this done quicker so we can help more kids like him,” says club president Daniel Guagliardo.

Souping up the cars to meet Theo’s needs will not take the Stealth Tigers too long. Although they were surprised by Theo’s hot rods.

“I had no idea that little Mini Cooper went so fast,” laughs Daniel. “I’m glad we’re gonna slow the speed down a little bit.”