SEN and Balanceability

The skills required for cycling have been analysed and broken down into ‘core’ elements that are practiced in Balanceability activities, both on and off the bicycle.

Child with Downs Syndrome learning to ride a bike

Children with delays in motor development may have lacked early experience and the opportunity to develop these skills. They may have visible physical difficulties or be diagnosed with a condition such as Dyspraxia or Down Syndrome but in most cases these children would all still be educated in mainstream school.

Our aim for Balanceability is that it is an inclusive programme that will enable every child where possible to participate at their developmental level and gain the same benefits that Balanceability can offer to all. Working with Patricia Maude MBE, author or 'Physical Children, Active Teaching’ we will continue to make adaptations to the programme to ensure that Balanceability is able to help every child improve their balance towards the goal of independent cycling.

Every warm-up and balance-related activity has been specifically chosen to allow the child to experience movement in a number of ways.

Differentiation is about meeting everyone's needs and not about segregating a disability. The only consideration is that Balanceability provides plenty of opportunity for children to practice skills in a number of ways to help move towards the outcomes.

Some children and adults develop balance skills later in life and we have pioneered using larger balance bikes and adapted bikes to fit most trainees.

It should be stressed that any participating child with a known medical condition must advise the course Instructor/teacher before beginning the programme so that we can tailor activities to the individual and the group and if necessary differentiate to optimise learning.

Each child that we teach is different and it’s important that our instructors listen to parents and carers at the start and watch closely as the session’s progress.

Dani Edser, who has mild Cerebral Palsy, recently attended a Balanceability session. Her mum, Leigh Edser said "this programme really compliments her physiotherapy with the added benefit of using a balance bike which is so light. Dani currently uses a trike but finds the pedalling hard work and not much fun, so, being more like her peers was a huge boost. In just one session Dani made significant progress in gliding and steering."