A new study has found that children with disabilities can sometimes learn to drive and ride in a wheelchair with the help of special needs help, even if they are unable to walk or move their limbs.
The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, found that about 1 in 5 children with mobility issues could drive and climb stairs without assistance.
The study, which was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed more than 2,400 children in Massachusetts with a mobility disability.
Researchers interviewed more than 100 parents and caregivers about their children with a variety of disabilities and also asked the children about their daily activities and how they moved.
Researchers also found that almost half of the children who had a mobility issue could not use their wheelchair as a vehicle for walking, with one in five kids saying they couldn’t use the wheel as a walking tool.
They found that among children with developmental disabilities, most children could not drive or climb stairs on their own, but some could.
The most common reasons children with disability could not be able to drive or ride a wheelchair were because they had mobility issues or their parents could not help them.
Some children with physical disabilities had no disability, but others had developmental disabilities that limited their mobility.
“These children can learn how to use a wheelchair and it’s not just limited to mobility, but it’s also able to provide basic services,” said Dr. Robert S. Stuckey, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the UMass Amherste School of Medicine.
The research was conducted on behalf of the National Institute of Mental Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
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