My Special Child: A Bicycle Helps Teach Good Behavior

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Logan Sanger loves to ride his bike.

At Milestone Academy in Kansas City where Logan goes to school, a bike ride is not reserved for to and from or after school. It's a reward he receives when his behavior is positive.

Logan has autism. A common characteristic of a child with autism is problem behavior which is often a result of their difficulty in communicating.

Logan's mother, Karen, learned about a method to help children with autism learn behaviors needed for life-skills. It's called "Positive Behavior Interventions and Support" and it's a method some say has proven to work well with kids who have autism.

"Sometimes our tendency then, when there's pressure, we want our child to fit in and they're spinning or they're twirling an object or they're grabbing something off the counter that they're not supposed to be grabbing. That's when it becomes difficult to really maintain a positive consistent approach to interacting with our child," said Dr. Amy McCart of the KU Life Span Institute.

Dr. McCart said parents and teachers should practice infusing an autistic child with a number of positive statements and affirmations and give them access to items that they love and enjoy to reinforce good behaviors.

Logan's mom said the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support method has helped her as she learns what Logan needs.

"It's devastating to one get the diagnosis but then two now I've got to stand up and brush myself off and figure out what this child needs," said Karen Sanger, Logan's mom. "When the parents are good advocates for their children and they know what their child needs it will absolutely change their lives."

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