I’m not sure how your teen is with fine and gross motor skills but my son has always needed all the extra help he can get. It took me 3 years to teach him how to pedal a bike…but, the balance part just wasn’t happening; no matter how hard we tried. We have been riding tandem bikes at the beach for over 6 years now but as soon as it’s time for him to get on his own bike, he just couldn’t get it. So, after all the tears, outbursts, meltdowns and drama, oh and broken bikes and training wheels; we finally had to take a break from the entire bike riding adventure. 😦 In case you were wondering…the tears, outbursts and drama came not only from our son but also his Dad and I! LOL 😉
Earlier this year, I was sent an email from a group called For This One and they would be hosting a bike camp called LoseTheTrainingWheels. ForThisOne states that:
Lose The Training Wheels™ is a nonprofit tax-exempt charitable organization that is much more than just a bike-riding program. For many people with disabilities, it’s a seemingly impossible task that they can typically master in less than a week’s time through our program. Within days of learning to ride, many children begin exhibiting independent behaviors at home. This achievement, in turn, creates a gateway of opportunity, helping them gain assurance and self-reliance in many other aspects of their lives.
Hmmm, a group that can teach our son how to ride a bike in only 5 days??? Well, we were very skeptical, to say the very least. But, we prayed on it and decided to sign up anyway.
After receiving a scholarship to attend, my hubby and I eagerly talked to and encouraged our son regarding learning how to ride a bike in an easy and fun way. Our son read all the handouts and by Monday of this week; he was eager and ready to go. Now, bike camp is an hour and a half away and only lasts for 75 minutes, Monday through Friday. Those in my life who don’t have a child with special needs in their life shared their disbelief that I would drive the distance daily just so my son can learn to ride a bike. Why not teach him myself? Who cares if he can ride a bike? This isn’t really a necessity….blah, blah, blah! The world of ‘normalcy’ that people who don’t live with a loved one with a disability live in colors their entire vision when it comes to looking at the world my family lives in. It’s worth it to us! I’d drive 3 hours a day for five days if it means at the end my son will accomplish a goal that will bring him life long enjoyment and fulfillment.
So, today is the third day of camp and I can’t wait until Friday gets here!! Do you think he will finally get it?!?!???? We do!! I’ll let you know the outcome soon!! For now, just keep us in your thoughts and prayers as our son works hard to overcome a challenge that has been a part of his life for 10 years and counting.