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wendytheweird
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20 May 2007, 1:48 pm

My oldest son, almost 8, still can't ride a bike. We would like to be able to ride our bikes to the store, etc, instead of driving all the time. He also feels left out b/c all of the neighbor kids ride their bikes all day. We recently got him training wheels (didn't know they made them for bigger bikes) but he still can't keep up. Has anyone been through this? How did you help your child learn to ride? I think it is mainly a confidence thing, as well as not having the best sense of balance. He's too afraid to go faster, but he relies on the training wheels b/c he's going SO slowly! Even with the training wheels, he falls over most of the time going around a turn. THanks for any advice. Oh, and I know there is a training program for special needs kids to learn to ride a bike, but there aren't any close enough. We live in central Indiana. I would be willing to spend a few weeks at my parents in law's if anyone knows of any camps like this in the Philadelphia area. I did a quick search and didn't find anything. I know they're out there somewhere, though.



Corsarzs
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20 May 2007, 2:27 pm

Wendy, can't help much with this because Z at age 10 still can't ride his bike. We've worked on it many times but he has trouble putting the peddling, steering, watching where he is going andbalancing together. The surprising thing to me ,though, is he can skate very well on inline skates. We will work on the bike thing again though, he is beginning to want to try it once more.

just an afterthought, Z finally figured out the finer mechanics of tying his own shoes at the start of this year. Sometimes they just have to be ready in their own minds.


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iceb
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20 May 2007, 2:34 pm

My parents banned me from riding bicycles after I fell of a trycycle at age 8.
I was a very clumsy child.

I did learn to ride a 2 wheeler much later at school about age 14

Yes I was last in my year to be able to tie my shoelaces.



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20 May 2007, 2:53 pm

I can't help you too much with this, as my son did not have this problem, he had good gross motor skills and rode a bike on time. I have a freind with an 8 year old AS boy, who can't ride a bike, she is hoping occupational therapy will help.

Maybe you need to look at a three wheeled bike? They make tricycles for adults. I just think this may be hard on him socially, as to most he probably does not LOOK like he has a disability that would require it.

Or what about a trailor bike?
Image
http://www.bicycletrailers.com/InStep-Pathfinder.pro

I am not sure how big he is, that may help, since he would not have to do all the peddling, or breaking, there would be some securty in speed knowing someone else is in control that they trust, and some balance support would be offered too!

Also, there are some recumbant bikes, I wonder if this would help? I believe they can come in 2 or 3 wheel designs, and with a lower center of gravity they may be easier to balance and control, plus being able to watch the feet going round and round may help.

I think it is common for a lot of children with As to learn how to ride a two wheeler around 12 years old, although some never do, others later, others earlier. I think the problem is, you have the gross motor problems, turning the feet and balancing, and then you have the sensory problem of speed and feeling out of control. Had my son waited another year to learn how to ride a bike, (he was 3 when we started) and had been in a bike trailor before) I don't think he would have ever put up with the speed, he would not go on baby rides at an amusement park by 6 due to the unfamilar sensory overload!

I remember one year we where at my in laws, they got him into a motor boat, he was "terrified" of the speed and the feeling of being in the boat, so they took him slow and broke him into it, it actually worked! I have found many things like that, where he will be very afraid at first, but as he "adjusts" you can increase the activity (in this case speed of the boat) and he adapts. ! ! However, as a warning, I don't think he is as bad off sensory wise as many aspie children. ! !
I wish you luck with this, hopefully something can be worked out this summer, but if not, try not to show your disapointment!

EDIT!

You should look at all the instep trailors, this one looks really cool!

Image

Quote:
The Morgan Cycle Caboose Trailer is a great means of preparing a young and inexperienced cyclist for life on two-wheels. Light, stable, and equipped with a very comfortable seat, the Caboose Trailer enables parents, caretakers, or an older sibling to bring a kid aged 5 or more along for a cycling trek of any distance. It offers all the benefits of a tandem bike, but allows the rear rider to sway with the turns instead of putting the weight of both riders on a single oversized bicycle frame.


http://www.bicycletrailers.com/For-Chil ... cat?sNav=0



sinsboldly
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20 May 2007, 3:28 pm

Corsarzs wrote:
Wendy, can't help much with this because Z at age 10 still can't ride his bike. We've worked on it many times but he has trouble putting the peddling, steering, watching where he is going andbalancing together. The surprising thing to me ,though, is he can skate very well on inline skates. We will work on the bike thing again though, he is beginning to want to try it once more.

just an afterthought, Z finally figured out the finer mechanics of tying his own shoes at the start of this year. Sometimes they just have to be ready in their own minds.


Geeze, just get him the ones with the velcro straps, why torture him with tying them?



Omma
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20 May 2007, 3:31 pm

My son just learned how to ride a 2 wheeler at the end of last summer, at the age of 9 1/2!! That was the highlight of our summer!! He was on training wheels up until then and finally, finally, finally, my hubby got him to ride a 2 wheeler. He does go for rides with us and he is a little slower, but we just take it at his pace. This way he doesn't get discouraged. If I'm intending to get an exercise ride in, I then do it by myself, so that I can go faster. I think it also helped that his younger brother was riding a 2 wheeler for a while and that inspired him to keep trying.

Good luck, he'll be doing it on his own, in his own time....



Corsarzs
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20 May 2007, 3:35 pm

These are some excellant ideas EC. Our problem, or at least the biggest one was Z coordinating the act of peddleing with everything else. He never really could pedel his 3 wheeler either. I will look into some of these other solutions though. {oh,crap that means I'll have to ride a bike again,well anything for the kids]


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EarthCalling
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20 May 2007, 3:43 pm

Corsarzs wrote:
These are some excellant ideas EC. Our problem, or at least the biggest one was Z coordinating the act of peddleing with everything else. He never really could pedel his 3 wheeler either. I will look into some of these other solutions though. {oh,crap that means I'll have to ride a bike again,well anything for the kids]


Well, a three wheel or recumbant independant bike may help because at least it takes "balance" out of the list of things to manage, allowing a child to concentrate more on just peddling... But I really like the look of the two wheel trailor, yeah, you gotta ride too, but it allows your bike to bend on its own independant of the trailor, I would imagine a single wheeled trailor would elongate the bike, and with the weight of the child, it would be heavy to right yourself afterwards, especially after a shape turn!

Anyway, a trailor would take the balancing thing out, allow for less demand on peddling, and get them adjusted to traveling at a better speed! Over time they would learn to peddle more, and perhaps be able to either graduate to a three wheel bike, or a two wheeler with training wheels. I just sent the look of the second trailor to my friend, we have a great 7 km waterfron trail in town, something like that would be perfect, at least I think it would be ! :)



Corsarzs
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20 May 2007, 3:58 pm

I think so, prabably what I'm going to check out first. To be honest these ideas hadn't even crossed my mind before. Give me a few weeks to get things togetherand I'll let you know what happens. Now that you've got me started I'll probably hyper-focus on it for awhile. Thanks .


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20 May 2007, 4:20 pm

wendytheweird wrote:
We recently got him training wheels


Training wheels are an abomination which make it harder for children to learn the first thing they need, namely balance. The people in bike shops really should know better than to sell this nonsense. I suggest you take them off, and the pedals and cranks as well. Lower the saddle until your son can easily run along while sitting on the bike, as people did before pedals were invented. That way, your son can learn balancing by steering the bike while he is still perfectly secure. If he can learn to ride a 2 wheeler at all, he will gradually take both feet off the ground for longer periods, until he is comfortable and demands the pedals be put back on so he can go faster.

Whether a trailer bike makes sense depends on whether you just want to leave the car at home for now, or also give your son indpendent mobility. A trailer bike will not teach him to balance, only to pedal. Balance is what he needs first.

Have a look at http://www.likeabikeusa.com/ to see a bike intended for 2-3 year olds. You won't get in a suitable size for an 8 year old, but you achieve the same by taking the cranks off, and your son will also use to learn brakes

Even though it is easier to take only the pedals off, remove the cranks as well. If he keeps hitting his legs against the cranks, he will not have fun, and fun is what he needs if he is to use a bike.

Gromit



Corsarzs
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20 May 2007, 4:36 pm

sinsboldly wrote:
Geeze, just get him the ones with the velcro straps, why torture him with tying them?


Didn't mean to give the wrong impression, Z has slipons, tie ,velcro, boots and just plain sandles. He pretty much wears what he wants to if Cor says they match his chlothes [I'm slightly colorblind and Cor matches my chlothes for me too]. Z learned to tie his shoes because he decided to do so. I have no problem tieing his shoes if he wants me too, still do some days. If they came untied at school the kids in his class always were willing to help him with them. He would occaisionally to ask me to help him with the mechanics and when he was confident enough he figured out how to tie them. In the face of some of his other difficulties this was not a matter of great concern. I think my point was he is growing up according to a schedule that fits his needs, not mine. That is something we need to understand about all kids, Aspie or Nt.


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wendytheweird
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20 May 2007, 6:11 pm

Gromit wrote:
wendytheweird wrote:
We recently got him training wheels


Training wheels are an abomination which make it harder for children to learn the first thing they need, namely balance. The people in bike shops really should know better than to sell this nonsense. I suggest you take them off, and the pedals and cranks as well. Lower the saddle until your son can easily run along while sitting on the bike, as people did before pedals were invented. That way, your son can learn balancing by steering the bike while he is still perfectly secure. If he can learn to ride a 2 wheeler at all, he will gradually take both feet off the ground for longer periods, until he is comfortable and demands the pedals be put back on so he can go faster.

Whether a trailer bike makes sense depends on whether you just want to leave the car at home for now, or also give your son indpendent mobility. A trailer bike will not teach him to balance, only to pedal. Balance is what he needs first.

Have a look at http://www.likeabikeusa.com/ to see a bike intended for 2-3 year olds. You won't get in a suitable size for an 8 year old, but you achieve the same by taking the cranks off, and your son will also use to learn brakes

Even though it is easier to take only the pedals off, remove the cranks as well. If he keeps hitting his legs against the cranks, he will not have fun, and fun is what he needs if he is to use a bike.

Gromit

Thank you for this excellent advice. The man at the bike shop actually advised against the training wheels and told me to take him to a hill and send him down the hill to learn how to ride. I thought it would be too much for him. So I got the training wheels anyway. Your idea is very very good, though and my husband agreees and will take everything off the bike tomorrow to give that a try. I think I will combine the 2 w/ taking everything off and finding a gentle hill (not hard to do in Indiana. There aren't many real hills here anyway.) I'm going to have to look into finding a cheaper version of those likeabikes for our 3 year old. I don't think he's going to have the problems his aspie brother is having, though. He has sensory issues, but they're milder.

We actually rode to the store today w/ the oldest on his training wheels. It took us about 45 minutes to go about a mile and a half. The trip usually takes me 10 minutes. I have my younger 2 in a trailer, so the tandem bike trailer is a no-go for us anyway.



Eyphur
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20 May 2007, 6:18 pm

Have you looked into the buddy bike? I looked at their website a while back, and it seems like a cool concept.



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20 May 2007, 6:20 pm

Thank you gromit for posting this! I sent a copy of your post to my friend with an 8 year old having the same problem. I can't imagine anything more thrilling then an 8 year old learning how to ride a bike over the summer when they think they can't! (keeping fingers crossed for all the aspie kids who can't ride a bike right now!)

Wendy, why don't you buy a regular bike for your 3 year old with fat tires and just do the same thing? Take the pedels and cranks off? I have known more then a fair share of 3 year old boys flying around on bikes, if he gets the balance thing quickly, he may want the peddles in a month or two!

With the trailor I can see why the tandom would be a no go :(



wendytheweird
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20 May 2007, 6:37 pm

My 3 year old has stubby little legs. We have the smallest bike they make and w/ the seat on the lowest setting, he can't reach the pedals or ground. :( Since these bikes are so adjustable and say they're for 2 year olds and up, I'm hoping they'll be small enough for him. Plus, it can be passed down to the baby, and then sold. ;) Here's a much much cheaper version I found. http://www.mykinderbike.com/store/index.php3 I think these are much more affordable, especially the 2nds in the outlet section. I'm going to talk to my husband and see if we can get one for the 3 year old. It might actually work for our 8 year old as well, as he is a little small for his age and he also has short legs for his height. He's nowhere near the weight limit, that's for sure!