Certainly, no one would argue that a healthy lifestyle is an important goal for all individuals, both young and old. This National Physical Fitness & Sports Month is a great time to renew your commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. Children with special needs in particular benefit from having a healthy influence in all aspects of their life: social, physical, and mental. The participation of children with disabilities in sports and recreational activities promotes inclusion, minimizes negative behavioral incidents, optimizes physical functioning, and enhances overall well-being. Despite these benefits, children with disabilities are more restricted in their participation, have lower levels of fitness, and have higher levels of obesity than their peers without disabilities.
Four years ago, I came across an article that mentioned a program aimed at teaching adults with disabilities how to ride a bicycle. I was unaware that many adults with disabilities were never presented with the opportunity to learn this skill many of us take for granted as children.
Thus, “Learn to Ride” Bike Camp was born. This Barber National Institute camp is a four-week program designed to help children develop skills to ride bicycles independently. Bike Camp is open to any youngster in the community who is able to pedal but who has not been successful riding without training wheels.
Going into our fourth consecutive summer, it has been wonderful to see such tremendous results. Nearly all students who participate in our bike camp are able to ride their bikes independently by the end of the four weeks – those that do not have still made remarkable progress towards reaching that objective.
Not in the Erie area? This blog post from 2015 does a wonderful job of sharing some pointers for teaching your child how to learn to ride a bike:http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/joanne-giacomini/special-needs-bike_b_8312246.html
Interested in starting your own “Learn to Ride” bike camp? Contact me for tips and plans on how!