Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage for most typical children growing up, but for children with special needs, the dream of bike riding with their family is a dream that may never come true. Tyler, who has autism, had a great deal of interest in learning to ride a bike, but at 19 years old had never been able to master balancing on 2 wheels. When Tyler’s mom, Stacy heard about the ICan Bike program which was being held close to his home this past summer, she jumped at the chance to give Tyler an opportunity to learn to ride in a specialized bike camp for kids with special needs. This is a 5-day camp that uses specially equipped bikes to teach balance. By the end of the camp Tyler and all of his camp-mates were able to ride a two-wheeler!
Tyler is a LIFEPlan Member who participates in Self-Direction. The cost of the camp might have been a serious deterrent to Tyler’s mom in the past, but with Self-Direction, she knew that she would be reimbursed for the cost of the camp, and even the mileage. Many tears of joy were shed by parents who hoped but didn’t dare believe that their child would truly learn to ride a bike in a 1 week camp especially after years of trying! Tyler has done lots of practicing in local parking lots since the camp ended. Recently, Tyler was able to use his newly acquired skills to ride on the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie! Tyler’s face tells the whole story!
Tyler’s mom, Stacy, is the Hudson Valley MFA Council Regional Liaison.