My husband and I were very excited to hear about Cyclabilities. While we had expected our boy to learn road safety, the benefits that he, the special needs community, and the community at large received exceeded our high expectations.
Having a team of therapists and Directors trained to work with special needs kids made such a difference as fine tuning the pilot program could be focussed on, and not educating the staff how to work with the individual kids. In addition to learning road safety, riding his bike with the training wheels taken off, improved social skills and learning to follow instructions, our boy gained confidence and self-esteem. Being a special needs parent, you quickly learn that institutions models are based on can’ts and not your child’s abilities. Cyclabilities is unique in that it harnesses play with an experienced, educated staff that directly enhances a child’s freedom on a bike while providing valuable real life knowledge. It was a joy to see the road safety lessons take hold with all of the kids. As well, the “work” done in the gym highlighted the need to follow instructions while giving the kids the best time exercising. It was a win-win for our active boy.
As an advocate for our special needs community, I have heard parents’ genuine fear for their kids regarding safety. The instilling of road safety is a tangible benefit for all the kids. I use the steps and vocabulary learned to this day. In addition, with the knowledge of road safety, our kids can traverse the world more securely. It may be difficult to imagine how a child is not conscious of their own safety; please think of the anxiety for a parent.
How wonderful for the community at large to have our kids biking the trails, with help or not! What an inclusive experience, where kids and adults can learn about each other’s abilities and challenges, and have fun while discovering! We went to the opening of the new bike riding area in Tuggeranong and it was lovely to witness everybody enjoying the trails, and holding hands while crossing the “street”.
We are raising our boy to cherish the freedom and responsibility of riding his bike safely. With Cyclabilities, we are on our way!