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Autism and Cycling

Old 10-04-10, 02:14 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Good posts, great advice, but please - NOT "auties" and "aspies." Instead -

Individuals (children) with autism or individuals (children) with Asperger's Syndrome.

You wouldn't say "blackies." At least I hope not.
My experience is that those with Autism and Asperger's are using these shortened termed as a method of identifying themselves. It is almost used as a term of endearment to show that they are part of special group. I admit that when I first heard it, it felt off to me and I have even questioned some using that term. Those I questioned were shocked that I would even question it and said that they were free to refer to themselves as they pleased and no they weren't offended if others referred to them as Aspie's.......so I think your concern may be misplaced in this instance. If they aren't bothered, then we probably shouldn't give them something else in an already complicated life to worry about. Just my opinion!
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Old 10-31-10, 09:01 AM
  #27  
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My son Brian. Just turning 23. Lower functioning autistic.
He loves his trike. He's a packrat so the basket is a plus.
This model is a folder, fits nicely with our other two folders
in the back of a Honda CRV. The trike has a 3 speed with
thumb shifters, this works very well for him. The greatest
distance traveled in one day 20+ miles, though I'm sure he
could go much further.
As far as life, I guess we just live it. Seems normal.
We smile everyday.
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Old 11-01-10, 07:18 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by BikeKraft View Post

As far as life, I guess we just live it. Seems normal.
We smile everyday.
Very cool.

My daughter is turning 9. Low functioning as well but very physically capable. We have no doubt that she can ride a bike. We have hesitated to get her going, however, as a safety issue. Once she gets going we are afraid she won't stop. No sense of danger at all.

I'm thinking of getting a tandem to ride with her.

My aspiration is to ride Lake Ontario with my two kids. My son Orion (typical) and my daughter
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Old 12-08-10, 08:06 PM
  #29  
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I have a 10-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. She has some similar issues as someone with autism, especially on a bike.

She was afraid of the Adams trail-a-bike - until I finally got her on it. She loved it instantly.

So that she's stable, and also just in case she decides to just get off of it mid-ride (something I can really see a kid with autism doing) I put this seat-rest with a strap on the trailer:

http://www.amazon.com/Trail-A-Bike-1.../dp/B000SMS7IC

She isn't into pedaling her own bike much, but she loves to make me do all the work.
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Old 12-08-10, 08:09 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
What about something like this:

http://lightfootcycles.com/trailertrike.php
Very cool, thanks!
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Old 12-08-10, 08:11 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by cyclistbrian View Post
I once did some volunteer work at a bike camp for children with Down Syndrome and Autism. I am absolutely *not* an expert in autism. Here is the group that ran the camp. http://www.losethetrainingwheels.org/ and here is the local organization that sponsored the camp, http://www.aim-high.org/what-we-do-t...ents/bike-camp

I have no involvement with either at present but they would likely offer advice to anyone who contacted them.
My daughter participated in Lose the Training Wheels. She did very well. It's a good program, with some innovative ideas.
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Old 03-07-11, 10:37 AM
  #32  
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My stepson has CP, not autism, but he has balance issues, which means that moving to a trail-a-bike from the Burley bike trailer was not an option for him, as some of the folks mentioned here. We adapted a regular kids bike with "fat wheels' -style training wheels and it has been great. My cousin's daughter is autistic and benefited greatly from participating in a "Lose the Training Wheels" programs last summer. She is 10 and refused to ever give up training wheels, but managed to do so after the week-long program and now loves riding her bike around the neighborhood. Another parent of an autistic child that I've met started up his own bike company making balance bikes for kids and adults after watching his 11 yr old autistic son try to ride a bide like his brothers, to no avail. Now his son can ride along with the family on bike outings.
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Old 07-26-11, 12:43 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Good posts, great advice, but please - NOT "auties" and "aspies." Instead -

Individuals (children) with autism or individuals (children) with Asperger's Syndrome.

You wouldn't say "blackies." At least I hope not.

As a card carrying aspies, my husband and I have NO problem with the term and use it frequently to describe ourselves and others like us. It makes us feel like it is less of a medical problem and more of a unique group of people we happen to have something in common with. As for the biking, wait until she is ready. It's hard to push people with autism into a hobby.
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Old 07-26-11, 07:30 AM
  #34  
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I have a 14 year old autistic son. He is non-verbal and somewhat higher on the spectrum than some of the persons described in earlier posts. He can ride a bicycle but only on our cul-de-sac as he can't quite get the concept of pedalling backward to stop.

I bought a tandem and at first he couldn't keep his feet on the pedals. I placed some toe straps and taught him to put his feet in them and now we can't be stopped. We have done some overnight tours and the tandem purchase has turned out to be a fantastic option. My son has no balance problems but for those that do check out the buddy bike http://buddybike.com/.
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Old 07-27-11, 06:48 AM
  #35  
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My daughter (11 years old today!) has PDD-NOS, an autism-spectrum disorder. I've been trying for years to help her ride a bike, but she was only successful with training wheels. Aside from having very little concept of safety, she also has exceedingly poor balance. We tried a few different types of scooters, including a four-wheeler, but she disliked them so much that she would end up pushing or carrying them instead of riding. She gets frustrated easily, which makes it difficult to help her learn new things, like riding/scooting. I've been considering a tandem, since she's too big for a trail-a-bike now. Anything to get her out from in front of the TV/computer would be a blessing!

As for the autie/aspie thing, I never heard the terms til I read this thread. My first impression was that they sounded a bit offensive, but if people with these disorders find them acceptable, then they're fine by me. I've often heard a group of autistic children referred to as "the autistics", which I feel is okay. Realistically, there are many other far more offensive terms that you hear from time to time, mainly from non-autistic children that don't understand as well as an adult (*******, dopes, idiots, and the like).

My daughter is definitely different, but she has friends, hobbies, likes and dislikes, etc, like any other kid. Having never been exposed to this kind of situation prior to my daughter being born, I have to say that every day is an adventure, to say the least. However, my kid doesn't feel that she is disabled, so my wife and I try our best to not treat her as such. We guide her in the best way we know how, praise her when she succeeds, and console her when she fails. We don't know what the future will hold, obviously, but I try to stay optimistic.
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Old 08-01-11, 03:44 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Namenda View Post
My daughter (11 years old today!) has PDD-NOS, an autism-spectrum disorder. I've been trying for years to help her ride a bike, but she was only successful with training wheels. Aside from having very little concept of safety, she also has exceedingly poor balance. We tried a few different types of scooters, including a four-wheeler, but she disliked them so much that she would end up pushing or carrying them instead of riding. She gets frustrated easily, which makes it difficult to help her learn new things, like riding/scooting. I've been considering a tandem, since she's too big for a trail-a-bike now. Anything to get her out from in front of the TV/computer would be a blessing!

As for the autie/aspie thing, I never heard the terms til I read this thread. My first impression was that they sounded a bit offensive, but if people with these disorders find them acceptable, then they're fine by me. I've often heard a group of autistic children referred to as "the autistics", which I feel is okay. Realistically, there are many other far more offensive terms that you hear from time to time, mainly from non-autistic children that don't understand as well as an adult (*******, dopes, idiots, and the like).

My daughter is definitely different, but she has friends, hobbies, likes and dislikes, etc, like any other kid. Having never been exposed to this kind of situation prior to my daughter being born, I have to say that every day is an adventure, to say the least. However, my kid doesn't feel that she is disabled, so my wife and I try our best to not treat her as such. We guide her in the best way we know how, praise her when she succeeds, and console her when she fails. We don't know what the future will hold, obviously, but I try to stay optimistic.
I just realised today that I never rode a bike without training wheels until about 12 as well. I have bad balance as well and this past month after 15 years of maybe riding a bike once, I have had to re-learn balancing on a bike. I applaud how you describe your daughter and how you approach her. It reminds me of me and my parents, and I have always felt safe with them. It's hard to get out and be active when you feel like your body is woring against you to do it. Have you tried reading to get her away from the electronics? I read like crazy as a child, but then the internet wasn't as big as it is now.
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Old 08-01-11, 06:40 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by frankieN View Post
I have a 14 year old autistic son. He is non-verbal and somewhat higher on the spectrum than some of the persons described in earlier posts. He can ride a bicycle but only on our cul-de-sac as he can't quite get the concept of pedalling backward to stop.

I bought a tandem and at first he couldn't keep his feet on the pedals. I placed some toe straps and taught him to put his feet in them and now we can't be stopped. We have done some overnight tours and the tandem purchase has turned out to be a fantastic option. My son has no balance problems but for those that do check out the buddy bike http://buddybike.com/.
.

Just curious -- what sort of straps did you use to hold his feet in? We've been working with our 14-year-old high-function autistic son; he'll ride now and like it, but his feet won't stay in the cages.
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Old 09-10-14, 07:41 PM
  #38  
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Just an update on my son. He is 11 now and in his way hinted he was interested in riding since he has outgrown the hitchhiker. So I took the pedals off my wife's comfort bike and lowered the saddle. Told him to coast. He did this off and on all summer, but rather slowly. Monday we went to a parking lot and he said "I wish I had pedals." So last night I put on the pedals and in half an hour he was pedaling all around the parking lot. Balance and braking still need work, but he did it! I am so proud of him. I guess I just needed to wait until he was ready and motivated.
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Old 09-11-14, 08:03 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Porten2 View Post
Just an update on my son. He is 11 now and in his way hinted he was interested in riding since he has outgrown the hitchhiker. So I took the pedals off my wife's comfort bike and lowered the saddle. Told him to coast. He did this off and on all summer, but rather slowly. Monday we went to a parking lot and he said "I wish I had pedals." So last night I put on the pedals and in half an hour he was pedaling all around the parking lot. Balance and braking still need work, but he did it! I am so proud of him. I guess I just needed to wait until he was ready and motivated.
Very cool! I let my son ride with his training wheels until they were barely staying on. He was balancing without them. When I asked if he was ready, he said yes and went. He has been riding the bicycling events with Special Olympics. He has been able to got the Florida State Games at Disney. When the weather is good, we ride after dinner.
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Old 09-11-14, 01:51 PM
  #40  
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Congrats on your son's accomplishments.

When my youngest son ("high functioning" autistic) was about 15 I gave him my old Diamondback "city bike". He was able to learn to balance very quickly. He rode all over the neighborhood but even though it had a 7 speed cassette, he never shifted gears. The chain stayed on the middle chainring and the middle cog.
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Old 09-11-14, 03:10 PM
  #41  
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For what it's worth, consider folding pedals when teaching bigger kids how to ride. You fold them up when they are just balance biking and can pop them down when they want to try and pedal. If they don't like it, just fold them up again...
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Old 11-11-14, 01:41 PM
  #42  
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I'm glad this thread was started. I'm 25 with Aspergers. I have no balancing issues, however the sirens and flashing bike lights have been an issue. I've had 3 seizures due to certain sirens. I tried my concert earplugs (ones that let me hear everything around me normally) but the wind noise from biking with those in left me deaf. Any suggestions?. Obviously I can't get a drivers license due to a history of seizures (I can't go a whole year without having one), the local buses are noisy and disgusting and I hate cabs. I got excited about roadbiking but I'm getting a little disheartened due to this issue.
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Old 11-12-14, 02:31 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Onyxaxe View Post
I'm glad this thread was started. I'm 25 with Aspergers. I have no balancing issues, however the sirens and flashing bike lights have been an issue. I've had 3 seizures due to certain sirens. I tried my concert earplugs (ones that let me hear everything around me normally) but the wind noise from biking with those in left me deaf. Any suggestions?. Obviously I can't get a drivers license due to a history of seizures (I can't go a whole year without having one), the local buses are noisy and disgusting and I hate cabs. I got excited about roadbiking but I'm getting a little disheartened due to this issue.
Maybe Cat-Ears, LLC - Reduce Cycling Wind Noise would help?
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Old 11-12-14, 05:47 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by linnefaulk View Post
Hey that's a great idea! Thank you so much. Any other ideas?. The more options for me to try the better.

Last edited by Onyxaxe; 11-12-14 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 11-12-14, 08:17 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Onyxaxe View Post
Hey that's a great idea! Thank you so much. Any other ideas?. The more options for me to try the better.
Cat ears should help with wind noise. For most people I'd never suggest this, but regular ear plugs that block out most noise might work for you. For most people the loss of audio feedback is a bad idea, but it might be warranted in this case.

If balancing is an issue, a recumbent trike may work very well for you.
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Old 11-13-14, 02:52 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Cat ears should help with wind noise. For most people I'd never suggest this, but regular ear plugs that block out most noise might work for you. For most people the loss of audio feedback is a bad idea, but it might be warranted in this case.

If balancing is an issue, a recumbent trike may work very well for you.
I think plugs with the cat-ears is an option. I have plugs for rock concerts that block out loud noises but still let me hear. The wind on top of that reduction made me deaf. No wind noise and I can use my plugs again .

These are the plugs I use for walks and such if anyone is interested:

Amazon.com: Fender 099-0543-000_135430 Ear Plugs: Musical Instruments

I use airborne earplugs for events with prolonged loud noises like rock concerts.

Thanks, I'll try it soon.
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Old 11-16-14, 04:46 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by dave1965 View Post
I have an 8 year old Autistic daughter.
Anyone else out there with autism in the family and how do you deal with it in life and cycling?
How severe is the Autism? Depending on the severity, will dictate what kind of bike she will be able to ride. If she's only mildly affected, then she should be able to learn how to ride a regular bike. If it's (the Autism) is more severe, she may need a tricycle, or even a quadracycle.
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Old 10-26-18, 03:13 PM
  #48  
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My son is 14, severely autistic, intellectually disabled (MR) and nonverbal and since age 8 we've been worried about elopement. I used to tow him behind my bike with a donated kid carrier but stopped when he started throwing things out, making me have to stop or turn around. Now that he's in puberty we still worry about elopement as well as anxiety but feel like physical fitness and being outdoors would be good for him.

At one point we'd go for walks in local parks but he seemed to prefer just riding around in the car. Though he's got fine motor skills challenges and is on medications for irritability that seem to make him excessively thirsty and sometimes clumsy I wonder if we're doing him a disservice by not attempting to teach him. I taught his little brother to ride but I'm afraid that some distracted soccer mom will flatten him with her SUV because he got out of the house in the middle of the night and decided to go for a ride to get ice cream.

Maybe in a few years. The anxiety of puberty has been really hard on him. He's still a little kid in many ways but physically he needs to exertion.
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