I spent the day watching the faces of children light up as they received their new bikes. Their parents were also filled with joy for their children and were so grateful for the donations that led to free therapeutic bikes for their child. These children were all different ages and had various special needs. There were children with CP, on the autism spectrum and with various genetic disorders. The bikes were customized to the very different needs of each child and today they took them home.
One boy had achondroplasia and although he has the motor skills to ride a bike, it was difficult for the family to find a bike that would fit his small stature. A small bike that could be customized for seat depth and height with extra blocks on the pedals worked for him.
Two girls on the autism spectrum had never had success riding a tricycle. They had difficulty learning how to push the pedals despite many attempts by therapists and their parents. Both girls were immediately able to ride the Amtryke with the hand cycles. Propelling with hands (feet are pedaling too) is easier because the child can see their hands doing the work and have a better sense as to where their arms and hands are in space compared to their legs and feet. I highly recommend this bike for children with motor planning difficulties.
Several children with CP rode different styles of bikes, including a teenager on a 3 wheeled bike and toddler on a small trike with special gloves to keep his hands on the hand pedals.
Bike riding is a favorite childhood activity and is also so beneficial therapeutically. It can be very challenging for families to get a therapeutic bike because of all the other financial demands and reimbursement limitations. Ambucs is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities. Today more than 30 children brought their new bikes home and are looking forward to Spring so they can get out there and ride their bikes.