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Teaching a non-verbal child with ASD to cycle - any help please?

(2 Posts)
Chopstheduck Thu 26-Nov-15 14:41:49

I teach cycling, and at our group last night we had a little boy with autism, who also happened to be totally non verbal. While I do have experience teaching children with asd, this is the first time I have tried to teach a child who is also totally non verbal.

I'm a mum of a son with dyspraxia, hypermobility, sensory issues, and social and communication issues not quite severe enough to be dx with asd. So I have a little experience of adapting things to include, but nothing on this scale, and my one day of special needs training was not exactly exhaustive!

The obvious answer would be to ask the mum, but there is something of a language barrier. So I'm really hoping I might be able get some tips and insight here.

So the lad was doing rather well on a balance bike, copying the others and mostly doing his own thing, and appeared to be happy and enjoying himself. Mum is keen for him to move to a pedal bike.

So I got him sat on a pedal bike and I really do think he could pick up the balancing but the issue is communicating pedaling to him. The only method I have to teach him is to physically move his feet on the pedals. As we did this, he started echoing what I was telling him at the same time and seemed ok with me moving his legs. In theory I could teach him everything on a hands on basis.

So I've said to his mum that while he is welcome to come along for the rest of the group course, in order to actually get him cycling, he will need some 1:1 teaching which I have offered to provide.

So my questions are - is it likely he can understand anything I am telling him even if he cannot verbally engage back to me?

is there any other way I could try to communicate instructions to him?

has anyone else taught a non verbal child with asd to ride a bike who might have some other ideas for me?

I do realise all children are different, but I would really like to be able to help this lad, any advice would be very much appreciated.

zzzzz Thu 26-Nov-15 20:37:56

Some children can understand what is said to them some can't. I'm not sure how anyone can help with specifics given the range of potential presentations. Hand over hand seems a reasonable approach.

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