Yep. That sounds odd but it's true!!! If you are a long time reader you are aware that we are dealing with Autism + Anxiety + Aggression + ADHD (wow, thats a lot of As, a perfect report card!). All those As for us mean:
Autism- Very limited interests, loves screens, hates being outside, amazing immune systems and an incredible sense of balance.
Aggression- We shy away from taking our oldest places where he may be anxious and become aggressive, in this way we shelter him which is not fair to him and to us but time, patience and my own peace becomes a limiting factor (and a person goal for myself to get over it).
ADHD- Attention limits things we can do, trying to learn new things sometimes isn't engaging enough to sustain attention long enough to learn.
Anxiety- Fear of the unknown, not wanting to try something because we don't know what could happen. What will the outcome be? Will I like it? Can I cope if I do not?
Add all these things together and you get two boys who have an innate athleticism and the ability to do hard things again and again without injury, that is IF you can get them outside long enough to try!
Enter I Can Shine Bike camp! Being able to ride a bike is freedom, its confidence, it's integrated and it's FUN! My boys have never been able to manage the skill. Something about steering, peddling, watching where they are going, balancing and braking was just too much. I wasn't much help to them either because I just couldn't explain it, just balance and ride. To me it seems so simple but I couldn't help them so I researched it (as usual).
What I found was very interesting... When learning to ride a bike your entire brain is engaged in the task. Imagine how difficult that would be if your neural pathways were having difficulties already. As you learn the task it becomes more second nature and it engages the brain less and less. Once learned and practiced you can pick up a bike any time and pretty much ride it forever, no matter how much time has passed.
I Can Shine is an adaptive learning program, small group instruction (6-7 riders at a time, each with 2 volunteer spotters/runners), using adapted equipment which gradually teaches balance and gives kids an instant sense of accomplishment. They are riding in the first 5 minutes of camp!!!
I have taken tons of pictures and videos and I want to do a follow-up picture post after our camp week so keep your eyes out for that but for now... My sons have bruises on their legs and I couldn't be happier!!! They are learning to ride a bike, they has wobbled, bobbled, been hit by the pedal, and the results are badges of honor that says they have gone outside his box, are trying something new and are SUCCEEDING in the most amazing way!!!
I am so proud of them and forever happy to be their biggest fan.