Thomas has cycling proficiency training tomorrow and Friday. Which would be awesome apart from the fact that he can’t ride a bike. He never mastered the art of pedalling forwards, he could only pedal backwards. I got back ache so many times manually moving his feet to help him feel what pedalling forward was like and pushing his bike forwards while he pedalled a few rounds and then drifted to a halt because he lost the hang of it and started pedalling backwards again. Our neighbourhood is all hills so whenever he freewheeled down we’d be confronted with a hill back up: not conducive to lengthy pedal practice without breaking mama’s back.
Apparently this is quite common in children with autism, it’s something to do with the motor skills. We eventually gave up trying to teach him because we were all getting frustrated and we bought a scooter, which became his most treasured possession ever and all his transport problems were solved. He scoots everywhere. He scoots to school and back every day, he scoot to the shops, he scoots to his Dad’s house, he scoots to the park. He’s a whizz at swerving and dodging past people. The poor bike got put in the shed and languished there for years, pushed aside by the more pressing demands of every day life and the joy of scooting.
Now we have cycling training and they have offered to teach him to ride a bike, which is wonderful! I hope Thomas at least learns to pedal forwards, even that would be a start. It would be an awful shame if this is yet another way his autism makes him stand out. Every child should be able to ride a bike, it’s a life skill and it’s fun. If he doesn’t then this summer we’ll drag that bike out and get him practising again. He’s older now, surely he’ll be able to pick it up.
Unfortunately tomorrow is the day “Storm Doris” is due to hit, with severe strength winds and lashing rain. Poor lad’s going to be blown off his bike and soaked through! I hope they can move the training to the hall….
Public domain pictures by Pexels and cocoparisienne at Pixabay.com