It is amazing to see the ways in which the new generation has managed to fight autism and support their kids with Autism, says Thomas N Salzano a professional biker. Thomas says in “my childhood I had a friend with autism who was restricted to play only because of safety concerns. It reminds me how much he loved to watch my bike but was never allowed to ride.”
Everything is easy especially with the new innovation and medical achievements that have managed to provide solutions to every problem from health to lifestyle. Not just the doctors but the parents too put in special efforts to motivate their child with autism and offer them a secure life.
Cycling is one such activity that you must motivate your child to do, says Thomas. Also for all those parents who think it is not safe for a child with autism or it’s too difficult for a child with autism to ride a bike it’s not true. All you need to do is start the training at an early age and go step by step to make them learn and build both: the confidence and interest in cycling.
To help you with the learning lessons for your child here are some tips shared by Thomas N Salzano a professional biker:
Start with the basic
For a child, it is easy to learn anything that they develop an interest in and the same is with cycling. You need to make your child familiar with the safety equipment and the bike. The preliminary skills for a bike-riding include pedaling, helmets, balancing, and braking.
You need to help your child to master all these skills before they can start riding a bike.
It is a little tough to make your child understand the importance of the safety gear, and make them get used to it while riding. A child with autism will surely reject objects that are not liked by him/her.
For making your child like the helmet try pottering it as a toy, put it in their toy box so that they can touch, pick it up, and get familiar with the item. Now when you know that they like the helmet, start teaching them how to wear it and take it off.
Learning to pedal can be a little bit confusing for your child so to help them understand the concept of pedaling try some smart techniques. For example, if your child is familiar with colors you can put a colored dot on each pedal. Now all you need to do to help them is instruct by saying “foot on yellow” “foot on the pink” “followed by “push down on yellow” and “push down on pink.”
The only critical part is making your child balance on the cycle. Simple activities at the park can help you connect with your child and give him/her the first lesson on balancing. The next step is to ride and show how it is done. Only when you feel that your child is now interested in learning, allows them to sit on the cycle.
Handlebar and Brake
Watch and learn concepts that fit best here. You can also use tags to show your child where to place his/her hand and how to hold it right. Always remember your child is a great learner, and watching and learning is the best teaching technique.
The same is the case with breaks, use a marker or a sticker to point the breaks on the cycle or the scooter. For the first phase, safety walks the scooter yourself and asks your child to push down the brake. This way your child will understand how the brake stops the forward movements.
All set to Ride!
When you confirm that all tags are clear to your child it’s time to put together all the skills. Now keep guiding your child with the help of all the color tags and stickers you have used on the bike. Remember it will take some time for your child to put together all his skills and balance properly on the bike. So as a parent be around and see how brilliant your child is, just keep a little patience says, Thomas.
Although parents prefer to send their child to professional trainers to teach them skills like cycling, swimming, etc. Yes, that can be done but at the same time if you wish to spend quality time with your child, spend it teaching them some must-have skills like biking. Thomas says as a trainer I feel that a child with autism is more comfortable in learning around or from their parents or school teacher. It takes time as a trainer to become a friend and then the trainer to start the lesson of cycling.