Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Getting our family out for activities

Boy, girl and father sitting on log in the park with warm coats and gloves on

Whether it's at home or while we are away, getting the kids outside is a must even though it's not always easy.  David, like many kids with autism has virtually no sense of danger, and his older autistic brother is petrified that David might get hurt.  Jane is only four still so can get tired if we are out for too long.  Exploring can be too unpredictable too.

Near our home we love walking in Bushy Park and around Hampton Court.  We can wrap up warm and go on familiar routes.  In the big parks, Jane takes her scooter.  David still hasn't got the coordination for a scooter, but I've spotted a scooter child carrier that I'd love to try with him.  Then there's the boys sensory needs.  If it's wet, Anthony's best in his wellington boots and David's not great with wearing gloves.

One of the other things we've also tried is cycling together.  As David lacks some motor skills, mostly due to disinterest, he doesn't cycle, but we can still do the activity as a family.

Thorpe Forest lies in woodland on the banks of the River Thet, close to where the Norfolk and Suffolk borders meet and we enjoyed cycling here as a family.

We hired a bike trailer for David and Jane to share and they both squealed and giggled as we set off around the woods.  At first David was a little nervous and despite his constant giggling he looked over his shoulder fairly often to check I was cycling behind him and Anthony.   As a child with autism he can be scared or upset by new or different things.

However, he was able to see me through the back of the trailer and he was safely belted in so I was not too worried about him coming out.  After a short while he just looked forward and just enjoyed the ride and was very happy every time we went out into the forest.

Cycling through Thorpe Forest

The scenery was beautiful and easy to take in at the leisurely pace of Anthony and my hubby towing the bike trailer.  We followed some of the Forest Trim Trail which led us in an easy loop around the woods.  It crossed a few paths and after we'd navigated around it once it was quite easy to follow new ones.

At this time of year, it's worth wrapping the kids in the trailer up really warm. The extra padding will also help with any bumps on the trail.  It is after all a forest track most of the time so a good cube mountain bike for those riding is worth having.

The forest was filled with beautiful tall trees such as sycamore and pine which look lovely around this time of year. Bushes, winter berries, birds and the odd bobbing dog walker could be spotted.  It was easy to be out for 10 minutes or an hour. With no times constraints we could run the activity as we wished.  We would watch to see if any of the boys were feeling cold, tired or overwhelmed but it was very relaxed.  Mostly it would just be a case of watching Anthony to see when he was starting to get physically tired or Jane getting cold so we knew when to head back.

We have no idea if or when David may be able to cycle.  Teaching Anthony to ride took a lot of strategies and involved standing the stabilisers on bricks so he could feel the motions of the pedals without dealing with the friction.  There are some great projects that help kids, including those with difficulties, to learn to cycle.  So there is hope that David may one day join us off the trailer, but probably only when he wants to.  In the meantime we can still get out as a family, and that's what counts.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you have lots of lovely things to do nearby. Thank you for joining in at #TriumphantTales, we are back on Tuesday after our break. Hope to see you there.

    ReplyDelete

I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
Follow
@rainbowsaretoo facebook.com/rainbowsaretoobeautiful Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100