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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lose The Training Wheels!!!

Loose The Training Wheels Week is finally here!!!

I have waited for this literally all year! To any parent of special needs who does NOT know about this program yet--I'm sorry. Take care of that problem IMMEDIATELY!! To any organization looking to help a segment of the population in your area, please, consider this organization.

If I were a computer guru, I'd have the logo of the group attached to the link embedded right here in my blog. I don't. I've spent too long trying. Maybe someone can help me to add it later?

Instead, I can give the info: www.losethetrainingwheels.org

This organization travels the country with adaptive bicycle equipment for the purposing of helping children with multiple diagnoses learn to ride bikes.

Riding a bide. It seems such a simple and natural part of childhood, but for the special needs child, it's another area of life that can set them apart from "normal" kids.

In my house, I have two sons who are eight and ten years old. Neither child rides a bike. They would happily ride a tricyle, which is much more stable. But bikes have always been a sore point. Both of my children lack body awareness. Because of poor sensory integration in their bodies, they don't properly feel their various body parts in space---I know, that sounds unbelievable, but it is actually true. Simple movements become quite hard. And, when you add that motor planning challenge to the fact that they also must somehow balance themselves on a bike while riding?? FORGET IT!!

Our younger son, faced with constant sensory motor coordination problems has just given up. He says he feels like a loser. Our older son, less verbal, does not show his bike any interest either.

Perhaps riding a bike will never be fun for them. Perhaps I am pushing what I feel is a hallmark of a happy childhood on them, and, if that is so, I will back off. However, before I do so, I want them to be given the proper chance to learn--a chance to learn with people who understand them, who understand their challenges and who have what it takes to meet their challenges head on.

Lose the Training Wheels is just that organization.

Last year, our older son participated in the program for the first time. He was assigned a "runner" to walk or run along side of him all week. Gosh she was pretty. He concentrated more on making goo-goo eyes at her than at increasing his speed on that bike. lol.

However, by the end of the week, in the last 15-20 minutes, HE LOST THOSE TRAINING WHEELS!! He pulled away from us, and he was FREE! It was exhilarating for parent and volunteers alike. Unfortunately, those few minutes of solitary bike riding weren't enough to build the skill to carry him over into the real world.

So, this week, he is trying again, and he is bringing with him his little brother, who is trying for the first time! We will attend every day, and I look forward to sharing this program with my loyal readers as we attempt to give these two young boys their wings!

Wish us luck!

Before they started yesterday.

A Side View of One of the Bicycles

A Back View of One of the Bicycles

Brothers Riding


Thank You UNYFEAT for continuing to bring this program to our area!


2 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful programme - I do wish that there was something like this in the UK. Benjamin learnt to ride his 2 wheeled bike when he was 8. He did really well that first summer, but last year he started worrying about "crashing" - so now the only place he will ride is on the grass field at the park - we have to push his bike there. I really want to get him riding properly again - but have no idea how to settle his fears.

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  2. Ruth, do you see the bars on the back of these bikes? They can be purchased. I got one for Trey at the end of last year for around $23. You take off the seat of the bike and install. Then you can use them to stabilize the child as he takes off but also to catch him as he falls. They can be purchased on the Lose The Training Wheels web site; however, if they don't ship internationally, let me know. I'll get one and ship it to you! xo

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