15 year-old Orion Bin Tahal is getting his daily exercise whilst enjoying opportunities to interact with neighbours and friends thanks to a bike funded through Therapy Focus’ GIVE Program.
Orion’s Mum Fabiola said that, prior to receiving the bike, her son would spend most of his time in his bedroom.
“Like a lot of teenagers, Orion likes to stay in his room and watch movies or listen to music. Music is his number one passion, but I wanted him to have more opportunities to be active.”
“I can’t ride a bike myself and I actually never knew that Orion could ride a bike until recently, when his teacher told me that he attends regular bike riding sessions at school. So I thought, well if he can ride a bike then I’ve got to get him a bike!”
Orion’s Therapy Focus Speech Pathologist and Key Worker, Claudette Brandis, supported the family to apply to the GIVE Program, which provides funding for items that promote independence, participation and social inclusion of people living with disability.
“Orion has severely impaired expressive communication difficulties and as result has difficulties starting a conversation, asking and answering questions and maintaining a conversation,” Claudette said.
“The bike provides great opportunities for Orion to be involved in the local community and reap the benefits of social interaction with his neighbours, who ride their bikes together in their quiet cul-de-sac most afternoons.”
Fabiola said that the family are now enjoying daily bike rides together.
“Every morning we’ll go for a bike ride just to get his body moving and now as the weather has started to get better hopefully we can go out in the evenings as well,” she said.
“It’s all about physical activity and just getting him out of the house and into the neighbourhood.”
In thanking donors who support the GIVE Program, Fabiola said that the bike couldn’t have come at a better time for the family.
“It worked out perfectly because the bike came just in time for Orion’s birthday,” she said.
“I would have never thought that I would be able to get a bike for Orion. For a lot of people, a couple hundred dollars might not seem like a lot of money, but for our family that’s a lot. In order to get something like a bike we’d have to do without a lot of things while we put away money.”