Thursday, June 13, 2013

He rides and I cried

This week Jack has been attending an iCan Shine bike camp. They teach kids with disabilities to ride bikes. We have tried for many, many, many years to teach Jack to ride a bike unsuccessfully. A girlfriend sent her oldest boy to this camp a few years ago and reported it was "magic." So when she signed her youngest up this year she asked if it would be okay if Jack attended. And they said sure.  An answer to my prayers I tell you. (No worries that Jack took a spot from a disabled child, enrollment was low this year.)

But the parent meeting when they started talking about not introducing anything new to the kids this week, and the forms asked how to deal with each kids personality I wanted to yell out MY PEOPLE! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY PEOPLE? They totally understand Jack there. I don't have to explain that he gets embarrassed or he finds it hard to talk to strange people or that he won't tell you if he is hurt or that he doesn't like it when the helmet says Jack blah blah and not Jack my name. (For those of you with the play at home game, the ped decided a few years ago that Jack is twice exceptional, and I have to say *that* label fits. Finally.)

So about the camp. They start the kids on these roller things instead of training wheels. The rollers get gradually thinner and thinner requiring the kids to balance themselves more and more with each roller change.

Then on day two they put them on a tandem bike and the bike specialist can figure out in a few laps exactly what part of cycling the kid still needs to work on.

After less than three hours of working with him, Jack was riding on his own. They start with a handle they hold on to, then they run beside them...

And then, just like magic, they are off and riding on their own.

And me? I cried of course.

Some of Jack's quirks have kept from doing what other kids his age are doing. We get there eventually, but this really feels like a huge leap of independence.

It was totally stress free for me. They worked their science/math/bike/behavioral magic



Way to go Jack. Mommy is so, so, so, so proud of you.

And twenty thumbs up to iCan Shine. If you are struggling to teach a differently abled child to ride, see if they have a camp in your area. It is not magic for every child, but, it's worth trying, no?


  1. yay jack!! and yay mama for finding the perfect fit for him! this is so wonderful :)

  2. Hurray! Such a good milestone to reach and am sure Jack is so, so proud of himself. You deserve to shed a few tears..this is a proud moment! HIGH FIVE TO JACK!!!!!

  3. How cool! You both deserve to be proud. What a great program that sounds like!

  4. I'm wiping away tears. What an awesome program. I'm so happy for you both. Go Jack GO!!!

  5. Yippeeeee for Jack!!! I see many Summer bike rides in his future:-)


  6. My son just learned to ride on 2 wheels this spring (he is the same age as Jack). We had tried several times over the years, but he just wasn't ready. He picked it up after doing a "ride on 2 wheels" class at our local bike shop.

    It has been fantastic! A huge boost to his confidence.

  7. Way to go, Jack!!

  8. what a great camp - wouldn't it be great if teachers, etc. could take a training lesson from them on how to work with all kinds of kids...
    i would have cried, too!

  9. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Go Jack! I would have cried too, what a wonderful camp to be giving kids help to learn things other kids just take for granted. I always felt thick (and was treated like I was) when all it takes sometimes is the right teacher and a bit of one on one.

  10. Crying over here! Love this so much!
    I'm having a good time catching up on your blog tonight!
    Erica :)

  11. Sarah,
    Just got home from the beach and got caught up on your blog. YAYAYAYA for Jack. (Sometimes he reminds me of Sheldon, my fav geek, who cannot drive.) I REALLY admire this program. Look at those wonderful people who care. See Jack ride like the wind!!


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