iCanBike Program – 2016

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Since 2013, the Friendship Circle of Michigan and iCanShine have partnered together to offer a week-long program to teach children and teens with special needs how to ride a two-wheeled bike.  iCanBike is a program of iCanShine, a nonprofit based in Pennsylvania whose mission is to provide quality learning opportunities in recreational activities for individuals with disabilities.

This years iCanBike program ran from June 20th-24th at the West Bloomfield High School.  Participants were matched with volunteers who assisted them while they learned how to ride a bicycle.

 

“I’m very impressed.”

We spoke to Lynelle Healy; her son Garrett, 8, participated in the program this year. Healy said that her connection to the Friendship Circle began in 2014. Garrett, who has autism, attended the Life Skills program. Healy saw information for the iCanBike program on the Friendship Circle website and as soon as Garret turned eight, the minimum age for the program, she signed him up. He had been resistant to his parents taking the training wheels of his bike. Now, in just five days, Garrett is able to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels.

“It’s awesome… I’m very impressed.” Healy said of the of week long program. “He took right to it. He liked that there were no big surprises.” Healy says that Garrett has become more independent and confident and she believes it will help him to be included with his friends. “I would recommend it to anyone who needs help.”

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“Now he’s willing to try anything.”

Delora Pierce brought her grandson Nathan, 16, to participant in the iCanBike program. The goal of enrolling Nathan in iCan Bike was to give him the ability to ride a two-wheeler, so he can ride alongside his older brother to school in the fall. “He’s very excited to be on a bike.” Pierce said.

Like Healy, Pierce believes that the five day program has made Nathan more independent. In the past, Nathan, who has moderate autism, had been unsure of himself. “Now,” Delora mentioned, “he’s willing to try anything. Now he wants to venture out and try new things.”

If you are interested in the iCanBike program, please visit our iCanBike page and sign up on the waiting list for the 2017 program.

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Watch our iCanBike video here:
children with #specialneeds how to ride a two wheel b…

Posted by Friendship Circle of Michigan on Sunday, June 26, 2016

 

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