Sudbury’s iCan Bike program helps teaches those with disabilities how to ride a bike

Mother says program has given her son independence

Paula’s son, James, took the iCan Bike program in Sudbury a few years ago. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

Paula Butcher remembers how frustrating it was to try and teach her son, James, to ride a bike.

James, who is almost 13 years old, has cerebral palsy and ADHD. A few years ago, Paula and her husband Matt, tried to teach James to ride a bike so he could get out with his brother and friends.

“It was a little more difficult of a process for him,” she said.

“He eventually did learn how to ride on a small bike and then through the winter, when we came to the spring for him to try again, he had totally lost the skill.”

Paula says the family tried again, but with little success.

“He was not able to learn at all,” she said.

“He would fall. He was frustrated and it was not an enjoyable experience.”

Paula says the family then heard about a program that could help, called iCan Bike. It’s a program that teaches people with disabilities how to independently ride a bike.

“It’s such an amazing program,” she said.

“He actually learned to drive a bike in just three days.”

And now, James can hop on his bike and enjoy time with his friends and family.

“I like to ride my bike because I like to explore different areas and go places I haven’t been before,” he said.

Paula says the the change for her family has been remarkable.

“He’s not different than the other kids. He’s able to go to the store with his brother,” she said.

“It’s so amazing to know that he has that independence and he’s able to do it.”

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