Riding A Bike Isn’t So Easy…. #DownSyndrome #SpecialNeeds

by Carrie McLaren with 7 comments

In the last few weeks, Molly has taken a great interest in her big sister bike. She loves watching her sister ride around – cheering and clapping for her while she rides. Molly loves sitting on the bike and tries so hard to get it moving, but there’s not much action.

Molly Riding Bike Down Syndrome

Learning to ride a bike is a pretty tough for any child, but for a child with Down syndrome (or any type of disability)  -it takes even more skill and coordination – something that could take years to learn. We’ve made it as far as getting her to put feet on the pedals and she’ll let us push the bike while she sits, but that’s about it.

It’s not that riding a bike is impossible, because it’s certainly possible – it’s just the notion of hand/eye coordination and having the hands and feet work together as a team, makes it that much more of a motor skills nightmare!  Suddenly, riding a bike is a very complicated task.

Molly Riding Bikes Down Syndrome

A few months ago, I learned about a great program for children with special needs that teaches them bike riding skills.  Formerly known as the “Lose The Training Wheels” program, it is now nationally known as the I Can Shine Program.

Last year, the Florida Times-Union featured the Lose The Training Wheels summer camp and made this fantastic video. (Might want to grab a tissue.)

This video gives me such great hope for our little Molly.  I just love that the children featured in that story feel like a “typical” kid again just because they can now ride bikes – just like their peers.  No child should feel left out – and especially when it comes to something positive and simple as riding a bike.

I’m excited for Molly to figure out bike riding so we can cruise the neighborhood together!  I don’t think it will be too much longer and she’ll be speeding all over the place!

 What tips do you have for learning to ride a bike?

** I received no compensation for this post.  We have not participated in this program yet, but I hope we have the opportunity to in the coming years. **

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    Comments

  • Melissa


    What a wonderful program and I love that video! I can’t wait for Molly to learn too!

    • Carrie with Children


      I’m so excited for Molly to learn too! That video makes me cry each time I watch it!

  • Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World


    She will get there I’m sure. Your Molly is so inquisitive! I’m sure it helps having big sis to watch too!

    • Carrie with Children


      She is a very determined little girl and you are right – watching big sister Maggie is a huge help too! Thanks for reading, Robyn. xo

  • Brandi


    I am so happy you posted this, I have never heard of this program before tonight. I am looking for a tricycle for my little guy right now where we can adapt the pedals so that he can wear his AFOs and knee immobilizers. His OT and PT were totally on board with the idea and think it will help strengthen his legs and will ultimately help him walk :)

    • Carrie with Children


      Yay! I’m so glad this post was helpful for you! I hope your plan with the tricycle works well – isn’t it great to have OT and PTs on your side?! :) Let me know how it goes!