Autism: Daniel's story 

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the way people interact with the world and other people. Daniel and his family talk about how his autism has been helped by cycling.

About autism and Asperger syndrome

Transcript of Autism: Daniel's story

Got the tandem a year last September.

- Yes. - He's done about 1,700 miles.

We got a tandem because I wanted to do more exercise.

Very scary, because Dad wasn't used to it.

(both) One, two, three, go.

(Pat) We both had to learn what to do.

(mother) Daniel has classical autism.

The major impairment is social and communication skills,

which obviously affects his life drastically,

but the physical activities he's doing have helped him enormously.

We definitely notice if there's ever any period of time

when he's been without any exercise for two, three or four days,

we notice the difference.

The anxiety levels are higher. He's tenser.

Definitely notice a difference.

It gives him the freedom. It gets him out.

He loves the descending, don't you?

- Do you like doing downhill, Daniel? - Yeah.

It's quite nice to see them doing something together.

Dad loves cycling and Daniel loves going 60 miles an hour downhill.

He's going, "Yes, Dad, I like it! I like it!"

- How fast did we go today? - Very fast.

- About 45 miles an hour today. - Yes.

- Have we fallen off the tandem? - Yeah.

- You grazed your knees. - They're battle scars.

They're battle scars. Who came off worse?

- Me? You. - Yeah.

- It's looking a lot better. - It's gone now, isn't it?

Living with him has actually become a lot easier.

We don't have the extreme changes of mood, aggressive outbursts,

very challenging behaviour that we used to have.

He's much more controlled and calm,

and I really put that down to the sport.

We've also been meeting up with Rad and Anna in certain pubs,

meeting up for lunch, so we've cycled there and met up with them.

That's been really quite nice family time.

It's nice to have that feeling that Daniel really wants to join in

and really is happy to be part of the family.

We rode a race over the August bank holiday,

and that was a time trial locally

and he did very well in that and people were talking to us afterwards.

The fact that he's actually talking to other people is a big thing,

so there is a social side to it which I hope will develop.

Develop into what?

Into a point where you can meet other people

who'll take you out cycling apart from your dad.

I'm sure he will make a lot of friends there.

It hasn't seemed to faze Daniel at all, racing.

He just seems to really enjoy it and feel exhilarated by it all.

It's completely amazing, the improvement in Daniel.

We're just delighted with the way he's progressed.


How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 3 ratings

All ratings

0  ratings
1  ratings
0  ratings
1  ratings
1  ratings

Add your rating

Living with autism

Find out about the help available and people's experiences of living with the condition