Tag Archives: assistive devices

My Bike Program Sponsored by Variety the Children’s Charity Pittsburgh

Do you remember your first bike? The feeling of the wind blowing in your hair, the sun’s warmth on your face? There is a sense of freedom when riding a bike especially for children. Not everyone is able to ride a traditional bike though, like children with special needs. Everyone deserves to experience the independence, mobility, and health benefits that bike riding provides. Adaptive bikes are expensive and are cost prohibitive for many families.

In November 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced a new program intended to provide bicycles to those in need. Corbett teamed up with Variety: the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh on the program called “My Bike.” It began giving adaptive bikes a decade ago, under its Kids on the Go mobility program but they started “My Bike” to increase access. Corbett said the program will provide adaptive bicycles to children with disabilities in the 10-county greater Pittsburgh area to increase their mobility and encourage play. These counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Variety’s mission:

“Variety the Children’s Charity provides children with disabilities unique programs,experiences, and equipment, so they may live life to the fullest. Variety works to ensure that children with disabilities can participate in the same activities as any other children by providing mobility equipment and social programs to children, ages 21 and under, in ten counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Variety’s “My Bike” program provides adaptive bikes to children with disabilities who meet the eligibility guidelines. For more information and for an application, visit Variety: The Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh’s website, http://www.varietypittsburgh.org/MyBikeProgram.asp

The cost to sponsor a bike is $1,800 and can be sponsored by individuals and organizations.

My Bike

Image Source: Variety The Children’s Charity Pittsburgh

iPods Help Kids with Asperger’s Syndrome

Minneapolis has a center that is experimenting with iPods and using them to assist kids with Asperger’s syndrome, bringing hope to both the kids and their parents.

One of the features of persons who have Asperger’s syndrome is a struggle with social skills, one’s that seem to come naturally to others. At the center, Sue Pederson is aware of some teenage boys who have trouble with making conversation; they might not know what to talk about, or having started talking, they do not know when to stop.

Sue, a psychologist, and her colleagues at the Fraser Child & Family Center in Minneapolis found a new way to reach students. That way was through the use of iPods that play music and videos in order to teach them how to interact. The iPods may have begun as a form of entertainment, but Sue says the technology turned into an unexpected plus for children and teenagers with special needs. iPods can be packed with the forms of information that these kids need to get through their day. Even though the center is still experimenting with the use of iPods in this way, Sue says, “I think it’s going to spread like wildfire.” Continue reading "iPods Help Kids with Asperger’s Syndrome"