'Detached' boy has breakthrough with Yo Gabba Gabba device created by engineer student

An occupational therapist found a way to connect with a 5-year-old boy, thanks to her husband who likes to tinker in his garage.
Edward Reyes is a sweet little boy, who is old already battling some serious problems.  Mom Jenny knew early on that he had some sort of developmental delay.  "Sorta like detached is how I felt, that he was detached from everything," she said. "He's like a mystery, in a sense. They're looking to see, trying to figure out  what his issues are. But they really don't know at this point."

David Shamblin is a UCF engineering student with a penchant for fixing things.  "I love solving problems," he says.  David can spend hours tinkering with stuff, mostly discarded electronics.  David and Edward came together through David's wife, Sabrina, who is an occupational therapist.  Despite being an embarrassment for Sabrina, David's junk piles held a key that would help Edward start tackling some of his problems.

David cobbled together an LCD screen with a button, that when pressed by Edward, would play a video of the Nickelodeon program "Yo Gabba Gabba."  When Edward picked up the device and began to play with it, his mother noticed an immediate change.  "She said she could see something change in his eyes," David explained.  "And after about 10 minutes, we saw his hand, he picked up his hand and he threw it on the button, and we were so excited," Sabrina added. 

Five years with little progress, and Edward turned a corner just like that.  "He's starting to learn to move across the mat, to touch his button, to play his favorite video," says Sabrina. And that's giving Edward's mother a little peace.  "It's given me hope that he can do things that other kids do."

On the web: 
UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science --  http://www.cecs.ucf.edu
United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida -- https://www.ucpcfl.org
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