A University of Central Florida student used what he calls his “junk pile” at home to create a device that is changing the life of an Osceola County child.
The new invention is bringing hope for a kid whose disability had left him without basic motor skills and even the ability to talk.
From being held to putting his shoes on, 5-year-old Edward Reyes of Kissimmee has to have everything done for him. And doctors have yet to be able to find the source of his developmental delay.
Edward recently learned how to do one thing on his own though and that’s pressing a button to watch his favorite show. The show is called “Yo Gabba Gabba” and it’s geared towards young children.
Edward’s therapist talked to her husband David Shamblin, a University of Central Florida student majoring in engineering, about the situation. And out of his junk pile at home, David created a screen with large buttons that plays snippets of “Yo Gabba Gabba” episodes.
“Engineering students? We like to solve problems. And so when she came to me with this problem, it was a perfect opportunity for me to solve it,” David Shamblin said.
To see the next snippet, Edward had to learn to push the button and he did.
“The first time we saw him activate this toy, it was really the first hint that we got to see that he had the cognitive ability and that showed that he understood the concept of cause and effect, which is essential in learning any kind of skill,” said Reyes’ occupational therapist Sabrina Shamblin.
David has made an upgraded version of the device, which Edward is now using. This one has more buttons so he can learn to make choices.
“It made me feel hope in my heart that Sabrina’s husband made this out of the kindness of his heart,” Edward’s mother, Jenny Reyes said. “And he finally made a breakthrough. Finally learned that he could have communication skills.”
Edward’s mother says the device is motivating him one day at a time.