Sam used to be awesome on his bike - back when he was four and he still had training wheels. Then one training wheel broke, but he still did great with just the one training wheel. Pretty soon that one snapped off too. We tried a couple times getting him to ride his bike without the training wheel, but he wiped out and flat out refused. He actually told me he wouldn't ever ride bike again until he was 10. I'm not sure what was magical about that number, but it never changed. Always 10.
Today we spent the entire day outside. My boyfriend Ray worked on the four-wheeler while his oldest took a spin on the dirt bike. All the kids got a dirt bike ride from Ray. His youngest daughter and I went for a bicycle ride, and we dug her old bike out to let Kaydee try to ride. I had an idea... it was time for Sam to learn to ride bike.
Ray's oldest got him on the old bike and tried to get him to go, but he wobbled and couldn't keep his balance. He was about to give up, but then I got up there and held onto the bike with him while I ran next to him. He screamed at me not to let go, but I did with a shove and sent him down the road. He couldn't figure out at first how to pedal, but he did get the hang of it, sorta.
Next up was getting him to self-start. He had one helluva time trying to figure out how to push off with his one foot, pedal with the other, and then bring his other foot up to the pedal. We never did master this task, but it takes practice. I could tell he was getting frustrated, so we focused on something else: steering.
He could not get the hang of steering and kept veering off to the left. I tried teaching him to turn the handlebars, but that was too much to think about - pedaling and steering.
I'm not being sarcastic - that's a typical Asperger's thing. They can only focus on one task at a time. Aspies also have a tendency to be physically clumsy. The trick is to make them get right back on the bike after every crash, and let them be done once they've "successfully" ridden for a bit. Next time Sam won't be as terrified!
I'm very proud of Sam and his attempts today. Tomorrow we'll try again!