Autistic individuals have difficulty with social interaction and often experience sensory overload. The goal of this blog is to teach you how to navigate in an autism-friendly way when teaching these people about driving skills, so they can gain independence from their parents and a sense that society has valued them for who they are.
The “tips for autistic drivers” is a resource that contains tips and advice on how to teach autistic individuals the skills they need to drive. The article also provides information on how to help them cope with their condition.
Getting a driver’s license is an attainable and reasonable objective for high-functioning autistic people who do not have significant intellectual difficulties.
Autistic people and their families collaborate with other specialists to assess whether or not they are ready to drive. A supportive family may assist in making the goal of becoming a licensed driver a reality if the person is ready and motivated to learn.
When it comes to learning to drive with autism, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Many autistic teenagers and young adults indicate an interest in learning to drive.
Almost two-thirds of teenagers with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) drive or want to learn to drive, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. By the age of 21, one out of every three teenagers with ASD who do not have an intellectual handicap has obtained their driver’s license, and the majority of them do so around the age of 17, when their neurotypical counterparts do.
Autism comes with its own set of difficulties that might affect how someone learns to drive, but it does not make it impossible. Teenagers and young adults with autism may learn to drive safely with acceptable modifications.
Impaired ability to drive is a problem that autistic people without intellectual disabilities experience.
Interactions with others.
Motor abilities are important.
The ability to pay attention.
Executive function is the ability to make decisions.
All of the abilities listed above are necessary for safe driving. Autism may impair a person’s ability to make rapid judgments and digest all of the information that comes with driving on the road, but it can also help them improve other driving abilities, such as following traffic regulations.
Men with autism may have reduced danger detection times on the road, according to a new research. In another research, youths with high-functioning ASD were shown to be less likely than teens in the general population to be involved in automobile accidents.
Autistic people, like everyone else learning to drive, must take extra caution in learning the laws of the road and how to operate a vehicle safely. To compensate for some of the challenges caused by autism, more attention to specific driving-related abilities is sometimes required.
Determining Whether or Not You’re Ready to Drive
The choice to learn to drive is generally a family one for autistic people. Obtaining a driver’s license provides a certain amount of independence in getting about and is a rite of passage for many young individuals.
Your developmental pediatrician or primary care physician, as well as any other important members of your treatment team, such as occupational therapists, behavior therapists, counselors, and school staff members who contribute to an Individualized Education Plan, should be included in the discussion about driving readiness.
Prior to beginning lessons, check with a driver rehabilitation expert who specializes or has experience in dealing with persons with exceptional needs. When the learner is ready, they may conduct behind-the-wheel instruction.
In the end, selecting whether or not you are ready to learn to drive is a personal and familial choice. It also relies on the person’s desire to learn to drive. There is little incentive for an autistic person to drive if he or she has no desire to do so.
Consider the following questions to see whether you’re ready to drive:
Is the person displaying excellent judgment and maturity on a regular basis?
Is the person amenable to guidance and constructive criticism?
Is there evidence that the person understands the laws of the road and what is discussed in driver education classes?
Is the person willing to practice driving with an experienced and licensed adult?
Is there a licensed adult available to practice with the person?
Is the person suffering from any medical or behavioral issues that might make driving dangerous?
Is it necessary to use medical treatments, such as ADHD medication, to encourage safe driving?
Although each state has a minimum age for obtaining a driver’s license, this does not imply that you must get one as soon as you reach 16 or 17. You could be ready to begin learning to drive right now, or you might be better equipped to begin driving in a few years. An open discussion with your family and support team can assist you in determining when it is appropriate to begin learning to drive.
Learning to Drive Resources for Autistic People
If you and your family have decided that you and your family are ready to learn to drive, there are a variety of tools available to help you, including several online driving resources.
The following websites include information on driving fundamentals, how to evaluate whether you are a safe driver, how to acquire your license, and more:
TeenDriving.com: This website provides information about driver’s education programs, learning to drive for the first time, driving exams, gaining experience, and graduated licensing programs. It also contains a series of questions to assist you determine whether or not you are a safe driver.
DriversEd.com: This site provides in-car driving lessons, traffic school, practice permit exams, and DMV information, as well as online driver’s education classes for kids and adults.
Driving Tests: This site offers free practice tests as well as paid tests to assist you prepare for and pass your DMV examinations.
Virtual Drive USA: This website allows you to finish your driver’s education requirements in the comfort of your own home. Courses are completed entirely online and at your own speed. There are more study aids available to assist you in passing the learner’s permit exam.
When looking for a driving school, it’s a good idea to look for one that specializes in dealing with people who have autism or other developmental problems. A list of driving schools that specialize in training autistic pupils to drive may be found here:
Further study into local driving schools can assist you in locating a program that best meets your requirements. As autism’s incidence and awareness rise, organizations around the nation are extending their offerings to suit the requirements of this special group. When contacting a driving school, inquire about any specific programs for people with autism or other developmental impairments.
Teaching Your Autistic Child How to Drive a Car
If your autistic kid has showed an interest in learning to drive, you should know that they are capable of doing so. For many teenagers, learning to drive is a vital part of their move to adulthood.
Young people with and without autism have a variety of motivations for wanting to learn to drive, including personal, social, and professional ones. It’s critical for autistic people to have their support team on board with them learning to drive. Before going on this adventure, consult with your child’s physicians and therapists.
Teaching an adolescent or young adult to drive may be a difficult experience. Autistic children’s parents may experience significant difficulties throughout this procedure. Parents of autistic children learning to drive should consider the following suggestions:
Patience is required. Your kid will be a terrible driver the first time he or she gets behind the wheel. Don’t set your expectations too high too quickly.
Allowing your learner driver to make errors is a good thing. This is a necessary step in the learning process. Resist the impulse to make quick judgments about their abilities.
Begin slowly and gradually develop your abilities. It will take some time to learn how to drive. Don’t supply all of the knowledge you’ll need in the first lesson.
Break talents down into smaller chunks. Maintain a clear and simple tone in your writing. Take huge ideas and break them down into smaller chunks.
Lots of practice is required. It is critical to practice abilities repeatedly. Even if it seems that they have things down, remind them on a frequent basis.
Before you get behind the wheel, go through the verbal and visual information. Before beginning the practical portion of the class, talk things over.
Encourage your youngster to put in some practice time. For novice drivers, driving simulation games are an excellent and safe method to train. They may improve fine motor abilities and response times, which are important in driving.
When training your autistic kid to drive, the most essential thing is to let them learn at their own speed. Always be cool, and don’t be concerned if your kid takes longer than you expect to acquire a new skill. On a daily level, it’s difficult to observe development, but if you look at the growth over weeks or months, you’ll see they’ve gone a long way.
There is no set amount of time that should be spent learning to drive. Allow your child’s passion to drive the learning process, and do all you can to help them succeed.
To say the least, teaching your kid to drive may be difficult, particularly if they have special needs. Fortunately, parents who are training their children to drive have a wealth of materials at their disposal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a parent resource website that covers a variety of issues, including:
Driving’s eight danger zones.
Enforcing adolescent driving rules in your state.
Making a driving agreement between the parent and the adolescent.
You can teach your children and other parents what you’ve learnt.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also offers Parents’ Resources to promote safe teen driving. Resources available through the AAP California chapter include:
Tips for keeping your young driver safe behind the wheel.
Websites that may help you learn to drive and stay safe on the road.
Printouts that are useful, such as parent-teen training materials.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a number of materials for training your kid to drive that are specialized to autism. The hospital’s Teen Driver Source program offers a variety of tools, including:
Specifics Regarding Driving for Autistic People
According to the Autism Society, there are no regulations prohibiting people with autism from learning to drive. Everyone’s first concern is their safety.
When a person with autism is ready to drive, a variety of criteria must be considered, including their interest in driving, their ability to multitask, their personal judgment, and their maturity level. Before making a preparedness decision, it’s a good idea to talk with your child’s care team.
Learning to drive may be difficult and stressful for anybody, but for individuals with autism, it can be a wonderful and gratifying experience with the correct supports in place.
Autism Society. Driving.
How to Approach the Subject of Driving While Autistic. (In January of 2020) News on the Autism Spectrum
Should This Parent Push This Autistic Teen to Drive? (Updated September 2018). Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about
What You Should Know About Driving With Autism. (April of this year). KUTV.
A new study claims that many young people with autism may become safe drivers (June 2018). HealthDay.
With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning to Drive (ASD). The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a children’s hospital in Philadelphia.
When determining driving readiness, consider the following questions. (In May of 2020). The Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
As Someone on the Autism Spectrum, I’m Learning to Drive. (Aug. 2016) The All-Powerful
Parents’ Resources. (October 2016). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How to Get Your Autistic Child Ready to Drive. Autism Parenting Magazine is a publication dedicated to parents of children with autism.
How to Get Started TeenDriving.com.
Done Right by Drivers Ed. DriversEd.com.
How Does It Work? Exams for driving.
Drivers License Practice Tests are available online. Virtual Hard Disk.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe The Modern Driver Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the
Program for those with autism spectrum disorders who want to drive. Maxwell is in charge of driving.
With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Driving Is Difficult. The Next Street is a short story set in New York City.
The Six Services We Provide. Colonial Driving School is a driving school in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
Driving and Autism. Knepler Driving School is a driving school run by Knepler.
Plans for Parent-Supervised Driving Lessons. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a children’s hospital in Philadelphia.
The Fundamentals of Driving. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a children’s hospital in Philadelphia.
Scoping Review of People on the Autism Spectrum’s Driving Behavior and Driver Training Programs (February 2018). Behavioural Neurology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the brain’s behavior.
The Autism Driving Initiative is a program that encourages people with autism to drive. Governor’s Office of Texas
When adolescent autistics want to learn to drive, parental support is crucial. (Updated June 2018). The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a children’s hospital in Philadelphia.
Driving simulator for autism is a tool that helps autistic individuals learn how to drive. It is also a tool that can be used in teaching them about driving. Reference: driving simulator for autism.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you teach an autistic child to drive?
If you have a child who is autistic and wishes to drive, the first thing that needs to be done is for them to become comfortable with getting into their car. This can take some time depending on your childs anxiety levels. The next step would be having an evaluation by a specialist which will determine exactly what kind of help they need in order to pass the test and obtain their license. Here are the steps needed
1) They should find someone willing to give driving lessons while theyre at school or work (many companies offer this).
2) Once theyve been given instructions on how much practice itll require, set up a time limit for each session until we start doing regular tests/driving around town/driving in different environments so that when we finally get out there, hell know what he has learned from all his previous sessions. 3) Depending on where you live and if your state allows special education students do not currently receive drivers licenses earlier than 16 years old, then introduce him slowly over whatever period of time takes place within those parameters as long as it doesnt cause any undue stressors like work schedule changes etcetera.
What resources are available for people with autism?
A: You can check out this website to find resources for people with autism.
Is driving hard for people with autism?
A: I am not an expert on autism, but it is my understanding that there are some people with this disorder who enjoy racing.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.