SNS "bond" that changed a boy with intellectual disabilities October 3rd 20:03
A 1000 km bicycle trip challenged by a son and father with intellectual disabilities. It was people who met at SNS that their sons who were not good at communication and who had a hard time in daily life offered to support them. The “bond” that connects the net. It is a record of growth that my father looked at.
“Natural” is not good
"Why don't you go from Yamaguchi to Tokyo by bicycle?"
This summer, I made a “muffle” to my 16-year-old son, Haruki, who had an intellectual disability due to congenital pervasive developmental disorder (language / learning).
There are a lot of things that Haruki can't do.
First, communication. You can say good morning, but you rarely convey your feelings.
The concept of “front” and “back” of clothes is also difficult. I always struggle to change my clothes alone, so my family always accompanies me. The toilet is accessible by one person.
Athlete when riding a bicycle
What I am good at is the personality I work hard on. There are people who demonstrate outstanding abilities in fields such as painting and calculation, but Haruki's appearance changes completely when riding a bicycle.
In fact, we became a champion in the Special Olympics Japan Hiroshima Road Race Division, an organization that supports people with intellectual disabilities through sports.
I met my bicycle when I was in 4th grade. I am not good at exercising. It was because I thought, “Can Haruki, who has difficulty understanding sports rules, be able to pedal?”
At first, I couldn't understand the meaning of “right” and “left” and had a hard time learning how to brake. Since it takes about a year to be able to run on public roads, growth is slow compared to the surrounding children. However, I continued riding without getting tired.
Bicycle competition that keeps running faster by increasing the number of pedal rotations to remember efficient running is the battle with yourself. It will be compatible with Haruki who will make every effort when he likes it. I practiced the pedals silently on a sunny day and a rainy day at the practice facility I built in my garden.
“I want to win a gold medal at the Special Olympics World Games”
I rarely tell my feelings, but I have the biggest goal in the world.
Search for “helper” at SNS
It is about 1000 kilometers from Yamaguchi Prefecture where we live to Tokyo. Unlike local roads that you are used to running in practice, you can load your luggage and check the safety of the route one by one before heading to your destination. This is the first time to stay overnight at a hotel.
I think that the hardships and encounters you have experienced during the trip will make you grow. I wanted to give my child a chance by taking action. Is it a place like "I want to make a cute child travel with or without disabilities"?
However, it is a two-person trip with a child who is not good at communicating and understanding complicated things at once. Encourage someone to help.
Therefore, SNS was recruited for people who would like to run and support the bicycle together. There was also a desire to convey that I could do this even if I had a disability by disseminating information.
Surprisingly, there was a person who came up with the name to support immediately.
“Please let me know if possible. I hope I can support even a few words.”
“I will support you on Saturdays and Sundays.”
A person who has never met will support you. Even that alone is amazing, but it will give us time to cheer for us, who will make time for us and run together. I felt the warmth of people in the message you received.
As a father with the same child
At SNS, I met my father, who has a child with a disability.
Mr. Shosuke Sugiura from Shizuoka City knew that we were traveling and gave us a message saying "I want to run together." Sugiura ’s children have developmental disabilities.
We communicated via SNS and drove together over 110 kilometers from Shimizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture to Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
If you are traveling on a route that you have never been to, it will be a great help if you have directions like Mr. Sugiura. And around Hakone with many slopes. Sugiura-san chose the road that was not steep, considering our burden on the ninth day of the trip.
Fathers who raise children with disabilities.
We exchanged words such as “accepting disabilities and being able to live together through fun things would be enough” or “I've been born with my own choice and will take care of each other well”.
I never forget to talk about each other's children while looking at Haruki's back.
"Don't stay at home"
During the trip, the exchange at SNS was not limited to bicycles.
In Shizuoka City, Miyuki Kanno, who helped her parents' jewelery store, was greeted with a sticker called “Welcome!
In addition, I served at the Teppanyaki restaurant. Haruki seemed to be happy with the food that everyone was eating, and during the meal, she was in high tension and in a good mood.
There was even a person who stayed home for the first time.
Mr. Hiroki Hayashi from Tamano City, Okayama Prefecture, received a great welcome with his family and colleagues. Haruki ate a fried egg handmade by Mr. Hayashi's junior high school son, and actively said, “It's delicious!”
As I mentioned at the beginning, Haruki takes time to get to know the first person I met. However, I went to shake hands, watch TV together, and finally talk about my journey with my grandfather while relaxing on the sofa. I was surprised at the situation.
Why did you stay with us without knowing? Mr. Hayashi once said, "When I traveled around Shikoku, a person who helped me said, 'Because grace is around, I will give it back to others. I wanted to return that grace to Mr. Otani." He told me.
I think that Haruki also felt that feeling.
“It was fun!”
Encountering unexpected people.
As I continued the trip, I began to feel that Haruki was gradually trying to convey my feelings by touching the hearts of warm people.
10 days after leaving Yamaguchi. I arrived at my destination safely.
“It was fun! I was happy to run together! I want to travel again!”
I was surprised. My son tells his emotions. I really thought that this trip was really good.
A map made for this trip. It is overflowing with words from people I met on a trip.
“Remembering the joy of running together, I will continue to run, so don't forget the two.” “If you join forces together, you can make a goal!
I think that it was supported by each person's thoughts and became the power to run through.
To say “thank you”
More than a month since then.
I have never looked back on my travel memories, but I took out my album and looked back on the photos of my travels, and continued to stare at me as I remembered people and fun events.
I have come to be able to say thanks from myself without being prompted by others.
"Thank you" for having my bike washed by my friends. "Thank you" at the parting of the trip. That has never been the case.
It is a small change, but it may be a big swell in him.
We are now supported by many people.
I have to thank my friends for making time for Haruki while expressing gratitude to my friends every day.
Let's go on a parent-child trip someday.
(Interviewed by Yamaguchi Broadcasting Station News Director Ryo Takahashi)