Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Auditory processing and learning to ride a bike

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Joined: Oct 28, 2010
Posts: 3
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Posted Oct 29, 2010 at 11:01:41 AM
Subject: Auditory processing and learning to ride a bike

Hi, my 7-yr old is having a hard time learning to ride a bike.

First, some background:

He was diagnosed with NLD with processing speed deficits by a general psychologist last year, but the NLD specialist we took him to afterwards said he had been misdiagnosed and was either on the socially awkward end of normal or perhaps had Asperger's or an auditory processing disorder.

We switched him from a Montessori school in which he was overwhelmed by all the noise and refused (or was unable to do) his schoolwork, to a smaller school that caters to kids with learning disabilities and/or for whom regular school just wasn't working out - for whatever reason. There are only four other children in his 2nd grade class and he is doing much better - he's actually getting his work done!

His current teacher thinks he displays symptoms of auditory processing disorder. We're having him tested by an audiologist in February.

Anyway...he is very afraid of learning to ride a bike, even with training wheels. When he gets on, and starts to tip over, he won't or can't do anything to correct himself. He just falls right over. I don't know whether this is anxiety or a product of whatever else is going on with him.

Could his inability to self-correct on a bike be linked to an auditory processing problem?

He also seems to lack physical stamina when it comes to walking or running; he tires very easily and says he's exhausted after walking a block.


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Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Oct 29, 2010 7:50:41 PM

I am trying to help so please don't bite my head off for asking this question and presenting this possibility. And let me just say I don't know your child I am just going based on what you have said....

Have you taken him to a doctor that can check him out physically? So many parents jump to the LD stuff without ever going for a physical to find out if what is wrong with their child. To me, who uis not an expert and who doesn't know your son, this sounds like possibly some sort of inner ear issue. Or some other issue of a physical nature. Don't ask me what type because I don't know what kind of a physical disorder that causes exhaustion could also be connected to the inner ear. This is just a wild guess out of nowhere, but have you had this stuff checked out by a medical doctor that deals with hard science or have you just been going to see the LD specialists? Because, if this were my kid I would be looking into the inner ear as a likely candidate for balance issues. Perhaps a partial hearing loss? Some people who suffer from that especially when it is in one ear have trouble keeping track of where sound is coming from. So the noise level when it is bouncing off the walls and many voices babbling all at once can be hard for them to process and to focus through, not because they are LD but because they have a legitimate physical issue. This same physical issue could and frequently does cause balance problems. If it were my kid, i would seriously check this out first before turning to all the LD stuff.

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Joined Oct 28, 2010
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Posted:Oct 30, 2010 4:42:23 AM

No offense taken, Mandi. Any insight/ideas are much appreciated. I've mentioned the exhaustion issue to our pediatrician, but he sort of dismissed it. My son has always been reluctant to learn to ride a bike, so we never pushed it. The tipping over problem just became apparent. My son's yearly check-up is next week, so I will definitely mention the bike-riding issue and ask if it could be related to inner ear issues (he has had his fair share (and more) of middle ear infections). Thanks again.

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Joined Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 41

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Posted:Oct 30, 2010 7:01:36 AM

Hi JM,
Something else that our ears provide, is our sense of balance. Where we have a curved canal in each ear,with fluid in it. That we use to keep balanced, with what is called our Vestibular system.
His problems with a bike suggest balance problems.
Though this could also be why he's exhausted from walking? As it is much more difficult to maintain balance when moving.
Here's a link to wiki article on the Vestibular system:

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
Posts: 621

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Posted:Nov 01, 2010 9:20:36 AM

I also want to suggest that your son has issues with his vestibular system. My son also did, although it wasn't as apparent as your son's. My son compensated by riding a bike fast. The vestibular system is also very connected to learning issues. You might look at this website to gain a better understanding. Neuronet therapy is based on the vestibular system.


My son did neuronet therapy and it made a tremendous difference.


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