When the Asperger's kid doesn't want to ride a bike...

I admit that I am very very lucky. My nine-year-old son Christian has Asperger's syndrome, but he is very very high functioning, so really it's not like having a high-needs child at all. It's like having a very funny middle-aged man living with us, in a nine-year-old body. But I admit that sometimes I am baffled by how to parent him, so I am hoping that you, dear readers, can provide me with a little assistance.

My youngest son Tommy has outgrown his bike, and since he and Christian are the same height, let's go ahead and assume Christian has outgrown his bike too. Tommy is a wizard and whips around the neighborhood, red helmet gleaming. He got a new bike last week, as soon as the weather got warm enough to consistently support it. We offered to buy Christian a new bike as well. But he has never really taken to the bike. He prefers running, and he is very very fast.

One of the characteristics of Christian's Asperger's is that he doesn't have a lot of gross motor coordination. To be perfectly honest, I do not know whether he can ride a bike without training wheels. But I suppose there is only one way to find out. So, here is my question. Should I go ahead and insist that he learn to ride a bike? The only reason I ask is that there are certain requests of his that I honor, because it only makes sense. After two years of baseball, it was clear that Christian doesn't have the interest, coordination, or attention span for the game. So, we switched over to swimming lessons. But I am really not sure sometimes how far to push him-- when should I insist that he partake of the norm, and when should I let him do his thing?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.