The Victory Center -
The Buddy Bike From a Physical Therapists Point of
My name is
Will Perez. I have been the Physical Education Director at
the Victory Center for over two years. The kids at school
refer to me as "Coach." As you probably already know, the
Victory Center is a school that provides a variety of
services for children with Autism and behavioral challenges.
What you probably do not know is that the Buddy Bike has
done wonders for our children.
As a P.E.
teacher, my main concern has always been to improve the
quality of life of my students, primarily through fun gross
motor activities. We have a variety of bicycles at school
(from small bicycles with training wheels, to 20 inch bikes
with support bars, to 26 inch mountain bikes, to the famous
Buddy Bike. The majority of our children ride with training
wheels or a support bar (but require moderate to maximum
physical assistance from myself or the coaching staff) to
balance the bike while he/she rides. All of them really
enjoy learning to ride but none of them actually experience
what it is like to ride at a good pace or what it feels like
to have the wind blow in their face while riding through
nature's outdoors. The Buddy Bike has given them that! With
either myself or a coaching staff in the back seat of "that
extraordinary 2 person bike," each child (from the Victory
Center) can ride bicycle like everyone else.
the physical benefits they receive i.e. lower body/core
strength, stability and coordination, it has given them a
sense of belonging and has driven them to "want to attend
physical education and "ride with coach." The look on their
faces is one that I cannot describe. Two children in the
school can now ride a 20 inch bike independently because the
Buddy Bike has allowed them to develop the "Mechanics"
necessary to perform the task of riding a bike.
bike is the most magnificent gross motor training tool that
I have ever used in my 13 years of working with children
with disabilities. I truly love it. My coaching staff loves
it and the students of the Victory Center rely on it so that
one day, they can ride independently.
and everyone else who made it possible for the Buddy Bike to
be a part of the lives of the children of the Victory
Center. Thank you very much.
The Victory Center for Children with Autism and Behavioral