Amazing Kids Keep Rolling in Amazing Bike Camp
Monday, Jun 8, 2009
AMAZING KIDS KEEP ON ROLLING
THE CHILDREN’S INSTITUTE HOSTS SECOND ANNUAL BIKE CAMP FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
For the second year, Pittsburgh area children are gearing up for fun at the Amazing Bike Camp hosted by The Children’s Institute. The camp, which is affiliated with the national organization Lose the Training WheelsTM,Inc., will start Monday, June 15 and will continue through Friday, June 19. During the camp, 40 children with special needs with diagnoses ranging from mild to high functioning autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, dyspraxia and Aspergers will come together at the Iceoplex at Southpointe to master riding a conventional bike without training wheels. In each session, trained instructors use uniquely adapted bikes to teach the children how to ride a two-wheel bike without training wheels.
“After witnessing last year’s level of success, there was no question that we would sponsor this event again,” says Jane Keim, vice president of Clinical Operations at The Children’s Institute. “We are committed to sponsoring this program as long as there are volunteers willing and able to help run it. Seeing the joy in these kids’ faces makes it all worthwhile.”
The Lose the Training Wheels™ program uses adapted equipment, trained professionals and volunteers. With 75 minutes of instruction over five days, approximately 85 percent of campers learn to ride a conventional bicycle independently. “Our son loves to ride now,” says Timme Spanos, whose son Zach participated in the program last year. “He asked to ride all throughout the winter, and continues to fine-tune his skills. He loves it!”
To be eligible to enroll, participants must be between 8 and 21 years old. They must have special needs but be able to walk without an assistive device such as a walker or cane, be able to side-step quickly to both sides and have a minimum inseam measurement of 20 inches and weigh no more than 250 pounds. All participants must wear a properly-fitted bike helmet at all times when on the bicycles. Participants will be most successful if willing to follow instructions and have a desire to ride a bicycle.
Tania and Jeff Grubbs, whose son Harrison has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and receives occupational therapy as an outpatient at The Children’s Institute, are excited about their son’s involvement in the camp this year. “We hope that he will not only learn to ride a bike from this experience, but also learn to interact with his peers in a meaningful way,” says Tania. “We’d also love it if we could all go riding together as a family someday. That would be amazing.”
Nearing the conclusion of the camp, the young riders will be in for a big surprise. For the second consecutive year, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is donating brand new TrekTM bicycles to all of the kids. Every bike was hand picked based on each child’s age, height, weight and ability. Following the camp the children will be able to take their bikes home, showing off their newly acquired skills to friends and family.
Malesia Dunn, Director of Communications for GSK Consumer Healthcare sums up the camp last year, “It was a wonderful and moving experience to see these kids accomplish a goal that so many of us take for granted.”
What: A giveaway of bicycles to 40 children with special needs, ages 8-21, learning how to ride bikes without training wheels.
When: Session Times:
Session A 8:30 am– 9:45 am
Session B 10:00 am– 11:15 am
Session C 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Session D 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
Session E 3:15 pm– 4:30 pm
Where: Iceoplex at Southpointe
114 Southpointe Blvd
Canonsburg, PA 15317