By Holly Timberline, OTR
When six-year-old Rory first came to our clinic, he showed delays with balance, strength, and coordination, which were interfering with many typical activities of childhood. His parents felt that his confidence was impacted as well, leading Rory to shy away from even trying many physical activities.
As a baby and toddler, Rory received early intervention services for delays with gross motor skills and speech. Although he had made excellent progress with those therapies, it seemed that the struggles of that time had stuck with him more than the successes.
During his first session in our therapy gym, Rory was able to use his body confidently for jumping on the trampoline and climbing a small ladder to the slide. We began to harness that confidence for more challenging activities. One of Rory’s therapy goals was to ride his bike without the training wheels. All through the fall and early winter, Rory worked hard each session on his balance, strength, and coordination. We would then take his bike outside for our last 15 minutes or so. On March 16th, Rory put on his helmet, walked his bike to the top of a small slope outside our clinic, climbed on, and started pedaling without training wheels for the first time! Rory didn’t just learn to ride his bike that day. He learned to believe in himself that much more. He learned that new things are possible, even when they are difficult. And he learned that even though his body may struggle, his mind can push him through to success. I can’t wait to see where that bike takes him!