Daniel's story

Daniel Weston experienced a transformation after he took up tandem cycling with his dad, Pat.

Daniel, who has autism, started cycling regularly with his dad. As well as the health benefits of cycling, the biggest impact has been on Daniel’s behaviour, which his family says has dramatically improved since he started.

"Daniel’s major impairment is social and communications skills, which affects his life drastically," says Daniel’s mother, Radmilla. "The physical activities he's doing are helping him enormously and if he's ever been without any exercise for two, three or four days, we really notice the difference.

"Living with Daniel has become a lot easier since he's been cycling. We don’t have the extreme changes of mood and aggressive outbursts; the very challenging behaviour we used to have," she says. "He’s much more controlled and calm, and I really put that down to the sport."

Not only has there been a marked improvement in Daniel’s behaviour, but the whole family is getting benefits too. "We've cycled to meet Rad and Anna [Daniel's sister], so it’s been really nice family time too," says Pat.

"It’s nice to have that feeling that Daniel really wants to join in and is happy to be part of the family," says Radmilla.

The cycling has been such a success for Daniel that he and Pat finished fifth in British Cycling’s Disability Road Circuit Championships.

"People were talking to him afterwards and the fact that he’s talking to other people is a big thing, so there's that social side to it, which I hope will develop. I’m sure he will make a lot of friends," says Pat.

Radmilla is amazed at Daniel’s improvement. "The racing hasn’t seemed to faze Daniel at all. He just seems to really enjoy it," she says. "We’re really delighted with the way he's progressed."

Page last reviewed: 06/01/2016
Next review due: 01/09/2018