Twenty-four years ago my oldest son Geordi , (Geo), was born with big blue eyes, dark curly hair and chubby little cheeks that made you want to smother them in kisses. He was also born “fussy” – not wanting to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time and not feeding well. As time went on, he was also late to sit, crawl, walk and talk. By the age of two, he was diagnosed as, “developmentally delayed” – cause unknown. Continue reading →
I spoke to a customer on the phone yesterday for about 20 minutes or so. It began as usual with questions about FATWHEELS & bikes and parts and prices. Nothing special until I asked – “what is your daughter’s name?” This is when the interaction turned personal. This is when Mom told me that her “baby” has autism. Continue reading →
A parent recently sent me this email:
“ …I cannot thank you enough the creators of fat wheels. For the first time my 11- year-old autistic boy rode a bike. They taught him how to pedal and maneuver at school using a special needs tricycle. So moving on to his 20″ bike supported by fat wheels was easy for him. Please pass on my gratitude to your company owners. You guys are not selling wheels, you are helping parents like me see what they never thought was possible.” – Vivek Saran Columbus, Ohio
What a joy to receive this email! I thought – “He gets it! He really gets it!” FATWHEELS are not just adaptive training wheels or wheel stabilizer kits – they are magic carpets!, wings!, – ok, maybe now I am getting a little carried away…. It is just that I get SO excited when I think about the potential locked up in so many individuals.
If someone can experience the fun & freedom of riding a bike by simply adding a set of FATWHEELS what else is possible?
Could my child actually learn to make eye contact when speaking to others? Do I dare to dream that these meltdowns will not be an issue for her one day? Could it actually be possible that he will get a job or be able to live independently from me? The sky is the limit!
My own son is now 22 years of age. He has met & surpassed so many of the goals I have hoped & dreamed of for him. So, “ keep on keepin’ on” – the road ahead might get a bit bumpy but you WILL get there.
I am what they call “Old School.” I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the new age of technology. However, I had an “aha” moment last week when all the planets aligned, the clouds parted and I truly saw the “miracle” of social media and the positive effect it can have on a family dealing with disability.
I was at a workshop trying to figure out what this online community called Pinterest was all about. As I followed the instructor leading me through the process of setting up my first FATWHEELS board, I began to get distracted with all of the searches I was typing in. “Special Needs”, “Adaptive Equipment”, “Autism”, “Cerebral Palsy”, “Down Syndrome”. “Disability”, “Cycling” “Training Wheels”, “Wheel Stabilizer Kits”…….the list was endless. With each click of my mouse, a whole world of resources, encouragement, humor, innovation and BEAUTY opened up to me. Then it hit me – this is AMAZING!! THIS AWESOME!! THIS IS A MIRACLE!!
When my oldest son was born with a developmental disability, computer use wasn’t really mainstream and there was no such thing as social media. I remember feeling alone, scared and desperate for information. I also craved a connection with other parents who were traveling down the same road as my husband and I. This was all so overwhelming. It was not only our first child but he was “different.” Why isn’t he talking? Why is he taking so long to crawl, walk and meet his other milestones? Was it OK to cry sometimes? Could I actually dare to just relax and enjoy this little guy? Did others feel the frustration with the doctors that I did? The questions and feelings were endless…..
Fast forward to 2015. Not much has changed as far as the questions and feelings that we all have but now…..wait for it….. there are ANSWERS!!
We have so many ways to find out the information that we need and to connect with others who are on the same journey. The Web, Email, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, blogs, chat rooms – the list goes on and on….
So please reach out – get involved. Connect with others and share all the information, encouragement and – yes – “love” that you have to give. You may be just the person that someone else needs to hear from. You may have a piece of information that they have been desperately searching for.
Let’s stick together as a community. Life is a highway. We are all traveling on this road together. Let’s make sure no one is left out and that EVERYBODY CAN RIDE!