Riding on their own: How kids with special needs are learning to ride a bike

Local News

HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas — ICanShine bike camps has partnered with the Variety of Texas Children’s Charity to help special needs kids in the Central Texas area learn how to ride a bike with no help.

“It’s one of those things that you just never know if your child can do that, because of their disability,” says Laura Himstedt, a mother of a camper.

Laura is Voa’s mother, a ten-year-old from Waco who – until now – has never been able to ride a bike on her own. But thanks to ICanShine camps, she’s learning how.

“To be able to bring in these kids who don’t have the expectation of being able to hop on a bike and find that freedom on two wheels. At the end of the week, they do,” Variety of Texas President Stacy Bruce said.

ICanShine is a national organization which assists children with disabilities to do fun activities they may have not had the courage or opportunity to try.

For Laura, it’s a huge step toward a goal Voa has had for years.

“Every time, it’s just like, so exciting to see her on any kind of bike. Because she’s been wanting to do this. She’s been wanting to be able to ride a bike since she was little,” she said. “So we didn’t know there was anything like this.”

Almost all of the workers are volunteers who just want to help kids succeed. Clarence Enochs heard about the camp, and wanted to help children not only realize their potential – but to conquer any fear of the activity so they can go out and have fun.

“So he had a bad experience on a bike, and just chose never to get on,” Clarence said. “And the first day he was very withdrawn and apprehensive, and now we’re fist bumping, and he’s enjoying himself, and today he was on two wheels for the first time.”

The kids are enjoying themselves, as well as looking forward to what the rest of the week will hold for them.

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