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Tom’s Freedom Wheels

Posted on 5th Nov 2018

“Tom’s an energetic 8-year-old he loves going fast on the motorbike and playing outdoors,” said mum Lisa.

“Tom has Phelan-McDermid Syndrome and part of this syndrome is being on the Autism spectrum, he is nonverbal and needs assistance to do things like eating and dressing. Tom used to be able to speak and ride a little three-wheeler trike but around age 3 he lost these skills. Tom is working towards regaining some of the skills he lost and rediscovering the things he used to enjoy,” said Lisa. She didn’t think it would be possible for Tom to ride a standard bike.

Lisa came across Freedom Wheels via a parent’s support group on Facebook. She contacted TAD and made an appointment for Tom to try the Freedom Wheels bikes with TAD’s therapist at a mobile assessment in Campbelltown.

Lisa said, “the assessment was very thorough, the therapist was very patient and took lots of measurements to make sure the bike was set up just right. Tom wasn’t nervous at all he loved having a go on the bike.”

“The Freedom Wheels bike has supports and foot cups which make Tom feel secure and confident. It was amazing to see him riding a bike, sitting up nicely and using his coordination skills to pedal and steer. Going fast is a big motivation,” said Lisa.

The Lions of District 01N2 generously assisted with funding for Tom’s Freedom Wheels bike. Lisa was shocked when she received the good news from the Lions. She said, “It was just amazing, like oh wow how nice to be thought of!” The bike has given Tom the opportunity to participate in more family activities.

Tom rides his Freedom Wheels with mum, dad and his brother Hugh who is 9 years old. Hugh is happy that Tom can come out on rides again. “Instead of sitting Tom in the stroller with a movie he is able to participate in the family activities,” said Lisa.

For other families thinking about getting a bike Lisa recommends coming along to the Freedom Wheels assessment. “There is so much information provided it is really informative and helpful,” she said.

TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.