“Getting Active and Creating Balance as we cycle around the spectrum…toward progress”
Health Initiative for Familes of Children on the Autism Spectrum
Montgomery, Ala.—Many of us share common childhood memories like learning how to ride a bike and then meeting up after school with friends in our neighborhood to cycle in a group down the sidewalk. Most children and adults on the spectrum don’t share that childhood memory. Depending on the severity of the illness, a child suffering from autism can be prone to physical challenges that would impede on their ability to successfully learn how to ride a bicycle. Some of those challenges include issues with balance and body awareness, or proprioception, in addition to the more common social interaction and cognitive problems, such as difficulties with attention and concentration. D.A.T.S.M.O.M. Founder Tametria Conner Dantzler hopes to find donors who will fund this initiative that will launch in Montgomery and ultimately around the state.
“My son Conner has the desire to ride a bike with the other kids in our neighborhood, but I know he needs a custom bike in order to successfully engage with typical peers during this activity. Several D.A.T.S.M.O.M. families would love for their children to also be able to socialize and interact with other bike riders in their communities as well, but don’t have the means to purchase a customized bike,” Dantzler said.
The teaching of bicycle riding with proper accommodations is being increasingly used to address the learning and physical difficulties of children on the spectrum. Experts say children on the spectrum have the ability to significantly improve their physical stability, sensory integration, motor skills, strengthened weak muscle groups and had a positive effect on balance.
“There are numerous benefits. This initiative will help with community inclusion, family enrichment, and is a holistic approach to help with progress for the child and adult on the spectrum,” Dantzler said.
D.A.T.S.M.O.M. is requesting $10,000 for the purchase of 25 custom bikes or special needs bikes that are available on Amazon. We also welcome a direct billing option, where you may bill directly to your accounts payable department for bike purchases. If you would like to make a donation or purchase a bike for a D.A.T.S.M.O.M. child, please click this link to be directed to our donate page. Checks can be made payable to DATS MOM and mailed to P.O. Box 20243, Montgomery, AL 36120. Please specify “Bike Initiative” in the “Re” section of the check.