Thursday, June 23, 2011

Children with Disabilities Take a New Ride

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Maggie George of Springfield was riding a two-wheel bicycle Wednesday without training wheels, and her mother was ecstatic about her daughter's accomplishment and reaction.

"I haven't seen that big a smile in a long time, " Donet George told 11-year-old Maggie. "Good job, sweetie."

Maggie, who has autism, is learning a new skill and gaining confidence during a camp operated by Lose the Training Wheels, a not-for-profit organization that works throughout the United States and Canada to help people with physical and intellectual disabilities learn to ride a bicycle.

"Riding a bike is a rite of passage for a lot of individuals, " said Cory Bunner, 25, a physical-education teacher from Jacksonville and bicycle technician with the group. "We hope this skill will open up new avenues for our participants. It's a great way for these kids to be successful."

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