Lose the training wheels, and gain your independence

What a pleasure it is to introduce Candy Porter as a guest blogger. Candy is the Director of Marketing and Communications here at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indianapolis.

Lose the training wheels, and gain your independence
By Candy Porter

Last month I had the privilege of observing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Lose The Training Wheels camp here at Easter Seals Crossroads. An article about our Lose the Training Wheels camp appeared at About Special Kids (ASK), a parent-to-parent Web site and resource for Indiana families with children who have special needs. The article described our program like this:

Children ages 8 to 18 with disabilities (such as autism, developmental delays, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy) are taught how to ride and transition to a conventional bike within a five-day period. The program utilizes adapted bikes and techniques developed by Dr. Richard Klein, a retired professor of mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois.

Think back to when you mastered a two-wheel bicycle — do you remember the time and place? I do — and that was over 55 years ago! What a life changing, growing experience it was. I have a feeling that it was even more so for our young riders.

I saw wobbly kids, scared kids and reluctant kids evolve overnight into successful kids, proud and confident. Better put: I saw earthbound caterpillars turn into soaring butterflies. What a joy — and privilege — to behold.


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