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blessedmom
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22 May 2007, 1:36 pm

My 13 year old (T2) learned to ride his bike at 5 because his training wheel fell off and I didn't have the time to fix it. He wasn't waiting because he wanted to ride with his brother (NT). I looked out and he was riding. My other son with AS, S, was 9. He struggled and struggled but then he decided that he was learning and that was that. It broke my heart to watch him but he had his step-dad out there ALL day and he finally did it.
As for the shoelaces, I just gave up on teaching them to tie their shoes. I noticed a few months ago that S had his shoes tied and he said that he put them on one day and figured it out. Just like that! 8O He was 15. T2 still can't tie but he is starting to fiddle with tieing things when he thinks I'm not looking and he will be seeing an occupational therapist soon so hopefully it will happen.


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carolgatto
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23 May 2007, 10:42 am

With my guy being 12, I was just thinking about a bicycle built for two...Daisy, Daisy......LOL. If seen by friend she can always just say, "yeah, my Mom is lame, but it makes her happy if I go with her" and then they can all laugh at me. This might give him the feeling of being on a bike and learning the balance before applying it to a one person and if he never learns then at least we can still ride together and have fun. What do you think???



EarthCalling
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23 May 2007, 11:36 am

It may help him learn the balance a little, you would give some stabalization to it. I think that getting him used to the speed it takes to really "go" is important too, as often it is the momentum that keeps a bike in motion, and if he does not have a feel for just "how much speed" that is, or is fearful of going at a good speed, then being with you would help get him adjusted to that.

It can't hurt right?



momsparky
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31 Jul 2010, 8:26 am

FWIW, I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 40 (having more to do with being raised by a mother who was OCD and sure I would break my neck than other factors, but who knows what would have happened if they tried to teach me.)

However - wanted to report a success story with my 9yo AS boy! We had used the tag-along for quite a while with success, except I don't feel confident enough to attach it to my bike, so we can only do it when my husband's off work. Until this past school year, it wasn't an issue (and my son was afraid of his scooter, which we got as a first step - a good call, he gradually got over it, and I think it helped) but apparently kids started to tease him about the tag-along this year, so he was motivated, but terrified. We were somewhat despairing of the idea, because there is a leap of faith required to get the forward momentum going - and while my son has all kinds of good qualities in spades, faith isn't one of them.

Right along with the teasing came the diagnosis, so I decided to google Aspergers and bike riding and found this method: http://www.autism-pdd.net/testdump/test18510.htm It seemed to meet my son's need, not only for breaking things down into very small pieces, but also for gaining an understanding of what's going on. I had my son read it and asked him if he thought that method would work for him, and let him mull it over for a while.

We started, I kid you not, with an explanation of the physics of tops and bicycle wheels; I explained that a bike works on the same principle as a top, (if your kid is this literal, this video may help: http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/clip121#clip121) and that the force of the spinning wheel is what keeps the bike upright, as long as it's going at a certain speed. (this was a crucial piece of information for my son, who doesn't like velocity of any kind.) A more in-depth article for an adult or older kid: http://mechanical-physics.suite101.com/ ... cle_easier

So, on the first day we took his bike, no accomodations on the bike at all except lowering the seat, to an abandoned parking lot, and practiced balancing while standing still. He sat on the seat, picked his feet up, and kept doing that until he could count to five. I told him to imagine that he was a bird perching on a telephone wire, and to really notice what was happening in his stomach and rear end.

When he felt confident with that, we moved on to balancing while moving - I told him to walk the bike like he was an astronaut walking on the moon (he's a huge fan of Neil Armstrong) With a little trepidation, he took off, long steps alternating sides. One caveat - have your kid wear jeans or leg padding - things almost fell apart when his shins hit the pedals, and it's better at this point not to take the pedals off. When he was able to glide for a count of five, we stopped, and started again later. I explained that he was riding his bike, and that the only piece missing was the pedaling, which (for him) was the easy part.

When we started again, we went to an unused tennis court - it was very large, about 6 courts long, and nicely flat, and nobody uses it in the early afternoon. We did the gliding, and then I added a step to the method - I told him to put one foot on one pedal during the glide. When he did this, the bike turned towards that foot, but I told him that was normal and not to worry about it. He got a bit frustrated, and I explained that everything he was doing up to this point was much harder than actually riding a bike, that he could take as long as he wanted to with gliding, but that pedaling would actually make the bike feel more stable and they wouldn't whack him in the legs anymore. Then we worked up to gliding with both feet on the pedals for a while. Then, suddenly, he decided to push on the pedals, and was riding his bike! He still has a bit of learning to do, but the major hurdle is over!

We both started screaming and jumping up and down, and did a little happy dance right there in the tennis courts!



houldsworth1
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10 Aug 2010, 10:43 pm

I taught my son to ride two years ago. I taught him the same way I did with his older brother - on a long gentle downhill.

I started with no pedaling - just balancing. I would have him coast down at a reasonable speed while I held onto his shirt. Over time I was able to go from a firm full grip down to just two fingers - which which point it was really just for comfort. And then he was on his down. It can be easier if you take the pedals off as it reduces the chance of skinned shins.

It certainly took him longer to get it than his brother. But then he went from zero to hero in about 3 hours, starting on his own, riding standing up - it was amazing. Then, for the longest time, this was his calming/coping mechanism - he would come home from school, jump on his bike and just ride around and around.

Best of luck!



bjtao
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16 Aug 2010, 10:47 am

My son is 10 and still can't ride a bike. I really want him to learn but right now it is low on our priorities. I think if my son could ride, he might feel some freedom. But at the same time, I can't let him ride in our neighborhood because we don't have sidewalks and he can't cross the street safely on his own.



DW_a_mom
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16 Aug 2010, 11:46 am

Without looking back on all the pages, I suspect the conclusion has been that most AS kids do learn to ride, just much later than NT kids. My son loves his bike, but I think he was around 9 when he finally figured it out. When they want to do it and are ready, they will. You may have to go through a few bikes before you've figured out all the problems however; it turned out my son couldn't operate hand brakes because of muscle tone. Stuff like that you don't even think about.


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momsparky
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16 Aug 2010, 12:20 pm

The major advantage to the method I described above is that it's totally hands-off and driven entirely by the kid. I found it to be impossible to swallow my expectations as a parent when hanging on to the back of their bike seat. (We did try the downhill thing as well, with disastrous results - my son just wasn't willing to lose that kind of control.)

I agree with DW, though - and have found this to be true in many other instances with my son. He knows when he is ready even though sometimes he needs a little encouragement.



whatamess
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17 Aug 2010, 4:02 am

My son turned 9 in July. He could not ride a bike. We moved into a very family friendly apartment complex (basically family friendly and AUTISTIC friendly...haha...because it is two rows of APTS, all balconies face the center of the complex and a sidewalk in the middle of the complex...parking lot on just one side...so ALL kids rode bikes and scooters a few months ago when we moved here...we figured we'd get him a bike with "training wheels" since he still could not ride one...guess what? He ended up with a crush on an older girl here (she's about 14) and she rode her bike around here all the time...one day my husband and I were taking a walk and we see him riding a bike without training wheels!! ! Yes, he just started to ride it...Again, I think part of the problem is when we lived in a house there was always that danger of running into the street, stopping at the curb, etc...vs. here where there really is no danger and the kids ride their bikes up and down that middle sidewalk all the time...(there are also sidewalks on the sides, but again, they don't need to stop for fear of a coming car or anything...

I would honestly say just give him some time...also, instead of riding the bike at the house, maybe you can find an empty parking lot or school parking lot or park or somewhere else where he is truly free to ride the bike without worry of having to stop, etc...maybe if an older kid he admires goes with you, that will motivate him too...

I am not saying that it is ONLY lack of motivation, my kiddo truly could not ride it...but again, once he was motivated even more by this 14yr old crush, he learned all on his own...



wrathofnero
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17 Aug 2010, 4:13 am

I'm an Aspie and I didn't learn how to ride a bike until I was around 12. Everyone made fun of me for it, but I just couldn't help it. It was just how it happened. I gave up on it and my parents didn't push it. When I was finally able to ride one for the first time I can remember how exhilarating it was. Give it time, it'll happen!



RykerSJ
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01 Nov 2010, 10:27 pm

Therapy bikes are great starters.



silvercat
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02 Nov 2010, 3:48 am

My son could finally ride a bike when he was nine . He absolutely wanted to because he was the only one in his class who couldn't. He learned to balance first with a step bike and then when he was more sure of himself we switched to a normal bike.
Now at thirteen he finally learned to swim.