Saturday, October 15, 2016

Meet Kayla: I Can...

Today, I welcome guest blogger Michelle, who writes over at Big Blueberry Eyes. She will continue our celebration of individuals with Down syndrome as Michelle tells about a milestone for her daughter, Kayla.

Meet Kayla

Riding a bike has been something I've wished for Kayla to be able to do since she was born. It is one clear memory I have from those early days after her birth - asking Joe if he thought she would be able to ride a bike.

I've been chronicling this journey for the past few years. She was almost 10 before she even started riding a bike with training wheels. She just had no interest or motivation.

The next step was to take an I Can Shine bike camp, and then she won a Strider Balance Bike.

It was such a blessing when she won the Strider bike. She really liked this bike - she didn't have to worry about pedaling and she felt more comfortable on it. The best thing was she could once again be independent and ride her bike around with Lucas and the other kids.

She still enjoyed our bike rides using the tandem bike, too.

We put her other bike up and let her focus on the Strider bike. It's been about a year since she's been using that one. On Monday we went for a ride on the tandem and I asked her if she wanted to practice on her other bike when we got home and surprisingly she said yes.

True to her word, when we got home she got on the old bike from bike camp and I held on to the handle. We started going and it felt like she was pretty well balanced so I let go of the handle to see what would happen. She stayed balanced and she pedaled for longer than she had in the past. I was shocked! She probably went the length of about 3 houses by herself without me holding on.

She agreed she would show Joe when he got home from work. So after dinner we went out to show him what she was able to do.

I let go of the handle expecting her to go a few houses down again, but she didn't. Instead she didn't stop, she just kept going. She kept pedaling and pedaling. My slow jog turned into a run. She saw a group of kids down the street and rode her bike towards them yelling, "Guys! I'm riding my bike!"

Most of the kids have seen her 2 years ago trying to practice with this very bike and not getting very far, they've seen us ride around on the tandem, they've seen her on the Strider. I think it didn't register at first, what she was doing, but then one girl started clapping as she got closer and then a few other kids started joining in.

I was chasing after her, stunned that she was actually doing this, she was riding her bike totally independently! I had to hold back my tears.

When she stopped to turn around she said, "I want to go again!" She rode back through the group of kids. "Watch out guys!"

Someone's dad was out bouncing a ball. The ball bounced up and hit Kayla. She rode through and he yelled out, "Oops, sorry!"

Without missing a beat Kayla kept pedaling, it didn't even throw her off stride, and she yelled back, "That's ok!"

When we went out to show Joe, I was not expecting her to ride down the street stopping only to turn around. She hadn't been on this bike in a year. How was she doing this?!

But she was, she was doing it.

Words can't convey how excited and proud I am of her reaching this new milestone.

If the video doesn't work try clicking this link - it should go directly to the youtube video.

Thanks Michelle for sharing this milestone! I hope to see my child do this one day! -Evana
This post originally appeared here.

This post is for Down syndrome Awareness Month where bloggers write for all 31 days of October for Trisomy 21. I am part of this 31 for 21 challenge. During the month of October, the NDSS asks that we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make others aware of abilities and accomplishments. Individuals with Down syndrome have abilities that need to be celebrated!

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