Cycling can offer a fun and effective way for children of all abilities to enjoy new levels of independence, individual challenge and social contact. Through gentle and controlled limb and joint exercises it teaches coordination and rhythm, develops body and environmental awareness and promotes strength, stamina and general health.1 2
The bikes and trikes listed here have features that may make them suitable for children with disabilities3, including:
- Support such as extra wheels, trunk, head and neck supports.
- Adjustable seats and height adjustable backrests to allow for growth.
- Hand loops, foot straps, stabilisers, control poles and steering restrictors to provide security and assist with control.
- Power assistance to help with reduced power or function in the arms or legs.
- Passenger cycles and trailers for children unable to propel a cycle.
These specialised bikes and trikes may be significantly more expensive than standard cycles and are not funded by local authorities. You may therefore wish to look into charitable funding for your child. If you're buying a specialised bike or trike, be sure to ask about VAT exemption.2
For safety reasons, you must be aware of your child's road sense and sense of danger, visual, perceptual and hearing skills and spatial awareness.4 Spatial awareness is a complex mental skill which allows children to understand their own location, and the location of objects in relation to their bodies. In understanding this, children then come to learn concepts such as direction, distance and location.5
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