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July Newsletter

Tips for Teaching your Child to Ride a Bike from a Therapy Provider!

One of the best tips for learning to ride a bike a therapy provider can suggest is to target the underlying skills that impact balance, sitting on a bike, pedaling, steering, and braking a bicycle. Considering the skills needed for riding a bicycle pertains to children with neurodiverse needs, typically developing children, and even adults learning to ride a bike!

Pediatric occupational therapists work with children to help them accomplish functional tasks, from play, to self-care, to learning, to day-to-day activities. Riding a bike is just one of those areas that an occupational therapist can work with children and families to facilitate function and ability.

When children struggle with riding a bike, there may be underlying issues happening that impact the successful transition to independent bike riding. Those areas might be as a result of an injury or diagnosis, or it might be a weakness in a specific area like strength or balance.

Some of the adaptive equipment or modifications that can aid the child in maintaining balance while riding a bike include:

* Specialized seating

* Handlebar adaptations

* Foot support options like rear box, pedal toe cages, wider pedals, platform pedals, or pedal straps

* Bike height

* Back rest

* Three-wheeled bike options

* Trunk support

* Stabilizer wheels

* Thigh supports

* Safety training handle


Is my Child Kindergarten Ready?

1. Practice kindergarten skills.

Over the summer, practice activities your child will be doing in class, like forming letters and holding a pencil. It’s fine if your child hasn’t mastered these skills when school starts. But it can ease stress for your child — and help the teacher — if the kindergarten classroom isn’t the first place your child tries these tasks. Kindergartners also cut out lots of shapes. If your child hasn’t used kid-friendly scissors yet, now’s a good time to try them out.

2. Set clear bedtime and morning routines.

There’s a good chance your child will have a new morning routine with the start of kindergarten. Maybe it’s an earlier wake-up time. Or having to be outside and ready for the school bus. Depending on your morning schedule, it may help to move bedtime to an earlier time. Before school starts, run through the morning routine with your child, too. Practice having your child wake up on time, get dressed, and eat breakfast. Will you be the one getting your child out the door? If not, have the caregiver who will be handling mornings with your child try out the routine a couple of times.

3. Practice asking for help.

Your child may be nervous about needing help at school. That might be with personal things like going to the bathroom independently or getting ready to leave at the end of the day.

Explain that the teacher is always there to help if there’s a problem — and that it’s OK to ask. Have your child practice asking for help before the school year starts. This helps kids build confidence to speak up for what they need when they need it.

4. Remind your child of strengths.

Some kids worry about not being “good enough” at doing things. Explain that kindergarten is all about trying new things and working to get better at old things.Talk about activities your child has done and learned in the past. Point out past successes, whether it was learning to tie shoes or catching a ball. Together, you can even make an “accomplishments box.”


July Crafts: Americana & Watermelon Art

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