Monday, September 27, 2010

Easy Rider

Norrin on his big wheel
When I was about six years old, my mother tried to teach me how to ride a bike; it was my older brother's bike and she had put the training wheels back on.  I didn't even make it down the block, as soon as she let go, I fell over, scraped my knee and I haven't been on a bike since. 

Norrin's first bike wasn't a hand me down.  Joseph and I were very excited when we bought him his first tricycle - it was shiny red old school Radio Flyer.  It had a handle bar so that we could push him.  Norrin liked sitting on the bike, but we did the pushing while he let his sneakers drag across the pavement.  He didn't seem to understand the concept of peddling. 

This was in 2008 when Norrin was starting his ABA services (15 hours a week).  That summer, it was me, Joseph and Gen (our ABA therapist) all outside trying to teach Norrin how to peddle.  But he would get distracted or tired and he didn't have the strength in his legs to peddle.  When the months got colder, we practiced in the hallway. 

After a while, he outgrew the tricycle and we ordered a big wheel.  I was so excited; I thought for sure this would be easier for him.  When we put it together, we realized, he was too small to ride.  It stayed in the corner of our living room, for over a year.  Every so often he would go over and sit on it, putting his feet on the peddles but never really moving.  When the weather was nice, Joseph and I would take it down to the front of our building and take turns pushing him - but after a few minutes of bending and pushing, our backs would hurt and Norrin was more than happy running off to the park.

This past spring, I was determined to make him ride the big wheel.  We took him outside and he started peddling - all on his own.  Every so often he would get distracted and crash into something.  But I figured - who cared?  He's peddling, finally!  The steering can come later.  (Check it out - Norrin riding his big wheel )

Now when we take him outside, I have to jog to keep up with him.  Though he still gets distracted and starts to flap when he sees the bigger kids whizz by on their skateboards and razor scooters.  He showed so much interest in razor scooter, that we bought him one.  It's in a corner and every once in while, Norrin stands on it and says "go."  He doesn't have the balance and coordination to maneuver the scooter just yet - I know that he will.  And it will be worth the wait. 

1 comment:

  1. As always, you inspire me with your words! Everything you write makes me cry! You are a true inspiration and Norrin has a wonderful, strong, loving and nurturing mother! We will all remind him of this as he gets older!! Keep on writing girl!


AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.