Our Kids Can Ride!
Kids with hemiplegia are successful riders on a variety of two and three-wheeled trikes and bikes. On this page we’ll share information about traditional biking as well as adaptations you can try. Your child will help you figure out what works best.
Tips for Riding for Kids Who have Hemiplegia
- Get ready for bike riding by using these wheels before you graduate to the bike – scooters, tricycles, Ambyke
- Your Occupational Therapist may have a learning to bike program called Pedal Magic that includes learning about shifting the weight and making lots of circles with ones feet on the ground
- Use adult sized training wheels as your child grows older
- Help your child find a way to keep her foot on the pedal. Try adding toe cages, toe clips, or Velcro foot straps to the pedal. The risk with these is that your child’s foot may become stuck on the pedal if/when she loses her balance and tips the bike over.
Check out the adult sized training wheels on the bike below.
AMBUCS makes a therapeutic tricycle called the Amtryke. AMBUCS is a national non-profit service organization dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities. These trykes are often given at no cost to children with disabilities who have a financial need.
The TeraTrike is an adjustable bike, meaning it can work for a 10 year old up to adult age. This bike is a little higher off the ground than a traditional bike, making it easier to get onto and off the bike. It also may help make the rider more visible to drivers.
Recumbent bikes are another option for kids with hemiplegia.
I want to share information about the trike we got our son; he was 12 before we even thought about a trike. I saw an elderly man on one and my brain went ding, ding, ding. Anyway we started looking at them and thought most looked a little old fashioned and not something our son would be proud to ride around on. We ended up getting him an all chrome low-rider with a banana seat and taller handle bars. When we first started riding it around town, all this kids would run up to him and ask to ride it, even kids older than him. We live in a small town and people slow down on the street as they drive by to tell him how cool it is. He is almost 18 and he still rides it (he isn’t driving yet) but it is still something he thinks is cool. My husband belongs to a rat rod & rockabilly club and a lot of people bring their low-riders and trikes for the show and everyone always stops Austin and ask him where he got his trike. I think it is important for them to be proud of what they are riding and not embarrassed, especially as they get older and what people think becomes important. Think of it as a life time investment, it was the best thing weever purchased for him. Right now he is wanting to do some customization to it before the next bike/car show.