Choose The Right Bike For Your Child
Choosing the right bike for autism is easier than ever today. There are a variety of bikes that can help make bike-riding easier for your child.
The key is to gauge what your childs challenges are and whether he/she needs a specific type of bike. Special bikes or adaptive bikes have proven to be effective in facilitating kids with challenges to learn how to cycle.
Lets take a look at the many choices of bike types for kids on the spectrum.
Pedal Bikes For Children With Disproportionate Dwarfism
Finding a pedal bike that properly fits children with disproportionate dwarfism is difficult as bikes designed for average body proportions simply dont fit. Islabikes offer a tailored version of their popular Cnoc 14 Small and Cnoc 16 models. They combine scaled-down componentry with a more upright riding position, better centering the riders body weight for a more controlled, confident ride.
The two models are available online or can be ordered over the telephone on 01584 708 383.
Cycling With Older Kids Who Have A Disability Or Special Needs
Working out how to cycle with your child when theyre not able to pedal a bicycle by themselves can sometimes seem an overwhelming task. Cycle Sprog is here to help families understand the different options available. When children are babies and toddlers, there are plenty of choices, from front and rear seats, to trailers and cargo bikes. However, as children get older, the possibilities reduce as the majority of children move onto riding their own bikes. For children with disabilities or other needs its not always possible to move onto a two-wheeled pedal bike, so what are the options as your child gets older ? With the help of members of the , heres a summary of some of the ways you can continue to cycle as your child gets older.
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Hugbike Is A New Type Of Tandem Bike Designed For People With Autism
hugbike is a new kind of tandem designed to allow the use of a bicycle to people with autism, down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, blindness or other disabilities. thanks to its unique long handlebars, hugbike lets the driver sit at the back and direct the bike, while the passenger at the front can relax and enjoy the ride in total safety. created by opera della marca srl, the project is promoted and supported by the fundation oltre il labirinto onlus, which is one of the worlds leading non-profit organizations in the autism field. in fact, the bike is partly assembled by a group of workers with autism, which provides them with a safe working opportunity.
all images courtesy of hugbike
on traditional tandem bikes, the driver sits at the front, directing the vehicle through his handlebar, while the passenger sits at the back. on hugbike, things are reversed, with the person at the back controlling the bicycle in absolute safety while allowing the passenger to sit at the front, embraced and hugged. thanks to protection provided by the drivers arms, this particular posture ensures greater safety, especially if the passenger is a child or an elder. though designed for people with disabilities such as autism or down syndrome, the bike is also perfect for families with small children, friends, and couples.
Autism And Riding A Bike
I get a surprising number of inquiries about this. Ever since I posted a photo of my son riding our adaptive bike, people ask me what it is and where we got it.
First, lets start by saying, just because a child has autism, does not mean that they cannot ride a bike or need an adaptive bike. But, we do know that many autistic children have low muscle tone and different interoception which may affect bike riding.
Our bike was on loan to us from his school during the pandemic. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I mean, we can ride it and its perfect for him. However, the thing is a beast and it weighs a ton. My son is also 15 and over 100 lbs.
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Will Insurance Pay For An Adaptive Bike
I dont think so. You can try. But youre going to have to demonstrate that its a necessity for health reasons. Not impossible, but difficult for sure. Talk with your childs pediatrician and perhaps their Physical Therapist to see if they have had success doing this.
Another option is to start asking around about grants and funding from community groups. Many times civic groups will fund something like this. Or, try Make-A-Wish to see if you qualify. I know many families who have gotten treehouses and trampolines and outdoor playsets from Make a Wish.
Good luck and happy riding!
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Trailer Bike Or Tagalong For Children With Special Needs
For some children a trailer bike or taglong is a great option. They have the freedom of pedaling whilst being pulled along behind an adult bike, and can coast along when they get tired. There are a number of different options available, although most tend to just have a regular bike seat.
If your child needs more support, its worth looking at the two different models of the Weehoo bike trailers, which are suitable for up to age 9 . The lower spec is the Weehoo iGo Turbo and the higher spec is the Weehoo iGo Venture which comes with a rack and large panniers for carrying everything you need on your trip out. Foot straps on the pedals and the adjustable 3-point harness with chest buckle help keep the child secure during the ride. Hand grips give children something to hold on to and the sprocket and chain are enclosed to keep little fingers grease free and away from harm. Canopy and rain cover accessories are sold separately.
Remember that youll need to be able to balance the bike and trailer bike when you get off to then help your child out, which is why youll note the bike stand in the picture above. You can also buy a kickstand for the Weehoo trailer.
There is also a two seater version available if you need to transport two children by bike.
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Child Seats For Older Children
Most child bike seats are designed for kids up to about 4 years in age, but it is possible to get several seats for older children. The Yepp Junior Budget is designed for ages 5-10 years and comes with foot stirrups and a fairly good chest strap. Mum Kez told us Our son has ASD and dyspraxia so I always looks at safely holding him into his seat as our first priority. The Yepp is a nice sturdy seat and is easy to fit.
Several things to consider when using a seat with an older child are your ability to handle the extra weight and the impact the child will have on balance and stability. Kez again At 21kg my son really changes the balance and stability of the bike. Its fine on off-road cycle routes, but on the road can be tricky, especially when theres a lot of potholes.
The Yepp Junior Budget retails from £ 65 and is
Another possible choice is the Bobike Junior Seat which has similar features.
Balance Bike For Kids With Special Needs
For children with special needs, riding a bicycle does not come easy. For kids with Down Syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy, trying to coordinate balance, pedalling and steering is an extremely difficult task. At LittleBig Bikes we want to enable all kids to have a go at using a bike, giving means for social interaction and group play. As the LittleBig is a proper bike, theyll feel just like the other kids as they coast along independently.
I was looking for a bike for my daughter who has Dyspraxia and was struggling with heavy bikes and with pedals. She is in love with it she loves the colour of it and is able to handle it really well. Colour – size – weight- quality all first class.Steve, UK
The LittleBigs unique design allows it to be used as a balance bike for 4-5 years, the pedals never need to be attached. If your child has slower growth , they may be able to use it for even longer. Kids with low muscle tone are fully supported by the saddle while they have their feet on the ground, making it even easier than walking. The light weight of the LittleBig means it is much easier to push forwards and steer than traditional kids bikes with stabiliser wheels.
Learning to glide along independently and developing their riding skill may also help with their motor skills, personal development and confidence building. Of course, using a balance bike ensures theyre getting lots of valuable exercise.
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Take It One Step At A Time
Children with autism can be easily overwhelmed, so you need to be more careful in giving too many instructions while your child is learning. Wait until your child understands your instructions and give guidance as needed.
Have a clear step-by-step plan on what you want your child to do. It might not always work perfectly, but at least you are able to instill a sequence of actions that your child might be able to remember, as most children with autism often do well.
What Is An Adaptive Bike
The simple answer is a bike that makes the act of cycling easier for the rider, whatever their individual needs whether thats changes to an existing two-wheel bike or a need-specific bike or trike.
Choosing the right adaptive bike depends largely on your primary need. For example, those with visual impairment may find a tandem great, while those with balance issues could struggle on one.
Likewise, a rider with spinal cord injuries affecting their lower body would not be able to ride a standard recumbent bike, but they may be able to enjoy a handcycle. People may also want to ride together for physical or cognitive reasons.
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Disability Bikes & Trikes Faq
Are you an NDIS registered provider?
Yes we are registered to provide assistive technology according to the certification issued by NDIS commissionOur NDIS provider number is contained on this website and is included in all our quotes and invoices.
Do you have preferred occupational therapists or physiotherapists with whom you work?
No, we are happy to work with any allied health team or other professional who requires guidance on the suitability of our range for a number of different conditions. We are happy to work with allied health teams or individuals and will provide insight into the bike/trike aspects for a specific needWe are not health professionals ourselves
Can we just turn up and do a trial of your range?
In theory, yes, but we do prefer to take bookings to make sure we have the space, the range and the resources to help you get the most out of the trialOur preferred way is for you to discuss the trial with your support team, to identify a couple of options for the time and date of the trial and then to make contact with us. We can then confirm if we have availability of staff and/or equipment to optimise your time onsite
Can you do trials in other locations besides your shop?
Do you import specialised equipment yourselves?
What’s the difference between a electric trike and a mobility scooter?
With our electric tricycles you get a large basket on the rear able to carry lots of shopping and a trike that is a lot more fun to ride than a mobility scooter.
Here Are The Other Benefits I Have Gained As A Bicycle Commuter
- Free exercise to keep physically fit & trim which has led to higher self esteem
- Countless complements on my resourcefulness
- Continued exercise in attention focus without the extra stresses of car driving
- Convenient exercise that I would NOT get in commuting by car.
- Less cognitively demanding than driving a car which means more mental energy for other tasks.
- Good practice in planning for items I will need while at work or running errands.
- Much easier to park
- Good practice in balancing on 2 wheels for coordination & cognition fitness
- After I erased my debt, I had more money for online courses to build software skills that are in demand in todays job market
This article / blog post was created by an anonymous contributor. The authors original draft was edited to help the post fit formatting guidelines.
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Tricycles For Big Kids
Another great option is an adult tricycle. These are super popular in beach towns, and their popularity is growing outside of vacation spots too. I mean, they are so practical!
Weve rented them at the beach and they are fun and more relaxing than a traditional bike. But, most of them are big, heavy and do not really collapse for easy transport.
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You can get them built for more than one person. Still, the weight limit is pretty limiting. But, this one folds up so thats good.
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Special Needs Bikes Trikes And Trailers: Enjoying Bike Riding With Your Child
It is that time of year where everyone is looking for fun activities to do outdoors. A favorite past time for many, especially kids, is bike riding. For many children with special needs bike riding doesnt come easily. Having to coordinate steering, pedaling and balancing is often a difficult task for most children to begin with. Children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism spectrum disorder or other similar conditions may never be able to ride a two wheeler on their own.
However an adaptive bike will allow you and your child to enjoy bike riding together. There are a number of really good options out there, the key is finding the solution that works best for you and your child. While Lighthouse Autism Center doesnt endorse any one particular brand or device over another, here are a few that we thought might be helpful based on reviews. These range in prices go from under a hundred dollars up to $7,000.
Skuut Wooden Balance Bikes
This is a wooden bike for kids and is ideal for helping children learn to steer, maintain balance, and improve coordination and independence. The bike doesnt have any pedals or training wheel. Parents looking for a bike to help build bike riding skills before trying a traditional two wheeler can find it on Amazon. Prices vary between $60 and $70. Ideal for kids between the ages 2-5.
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How Cycling Helps Children With Autism
According to the World Health Organization, about 1 in 160 children worldwide are afflicted with autism spectrum disorder . Depending on the severity of the illness, a child suffering from autism can be prone to a number of physical challenges, including issues with balance and body awareness, or proprioception, in addition to the more common social interaction and cognitive problems, such as difficulties with attention and concentration.
Treatment for children with these disabilities usually includes occupational therapy to improve skills enabling people to become more independent and participate in a wide range of activities that are taken for granted by people without autism. These programs generally focus on play skills, learning strategies and self-care. Though not yet in wide use, the teaching of bicycle riding is being increasingly used to address the learning and physical difficulties of autistic children.
Because of challenges with balance and coordination, many children with ASD never learn to ride a bike. However, a study carried out in 2015 found that autistic children were able to significantly improve their physical stability after five weeks of regular training on a no-pedal balance bike.
Interestingly, according to one ASD sufferer, cycling is the ideal exercise for people with autism. Patrick McCallister was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 1993. He says in a blog that autism and cycling go hand-in-hand.
Environmental Mobility Environmental Mobility Environmental Mobility
Our program will be developing an environment mobility group that will provide transportation to individuals with disabilities. In simple words we are creating a buddy system that will help individuals with disabilities to ride an adaptive bicycle in short distances to do their everyday activities like errands, appointments and shopping. Our program will decrease the use of cars creating/improving the air and will increase health benefits to individuals that will never thought will have the option to use a bicycle to commute due to their disabilities.
Our program is asking you to be part of the Adapt Ability team, making this program an opportunity to empower individuals with disabilities creating new and healthy choices to commute in the neighborhood. AdaptAbility 4Ride can change one individual and with your support a complete community.
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Bikes Trikes And Tandems For Children With Special Needs
For children with special needs bike riding does not come easy. Trying to coordinate balance, pedaling and steering is an extremely difficult task. For children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida or other similar conditions, riding a two wheeler may never be a practical option.
If you have a child with special needs you may want to consider an adaptive bike. To make your job easier we have scoured the web looking for all types of adaptive bikes, trikes and more. We found 20 bikes ranging from $70 to $7,000. Check them out below and if you have any to add please tell us in the comments.