Asd And Driving: Yes And No
So, can autistic people drive? The answer is yes and no. It depends on the individual, their symptoms, and their individual abilities.
If you think your teen could drive, start planning early. Talk about driving and the expectations for people who drive. You might even want to have them see their doctor to guarantee there would be no other medical condition that would prevent them from being a good driver.
How Qualified Is The Instructor
Most private and public driving instructors specialize in training neurotypical teenagers how to pass the driving test. Most driver rehabilitation programs, including those based in regional hospitals, specialize in physical and occupational retraining for experienced drivers. Modern Driver Institute is the only facility on the East Coast that specializes in cognitive and behavioral training for non-traditional novice drivers.
Surprisingly, there are no regulations governing who can train whom in Pennsylvania. Anyone training novice drivers for pay must be licensed as a driving instructor by the PA Department of Education, but the only requirement to be a driving instructor is a high school diploma. There are no guidelines at all over who may call themselves a driver rehabilitation specialist . There are also no regulations limiting which driving instructors can claim expertise in working with individuals with cognitive, learning, behavioral or developmental differences.
At Modern Driver Institute, weve inherited students from private and public driving instructors, as well as from rehabilitation hospitals and rehabilitation specialists. In almost every case, weve succeeded where they could not. This is because we choose to specialize in this one area, and this specialization brings expertise to a new level.
Education, certification, and experience. Thats the combination you should be looking for in a provider.
What To Do If You Have An Accident
If you have an accident, it is worth having written instructions in your car so that you can see what you need to do. When you are learning to drive it is also worth talking to your driving instructor about what is classed as an accident and when following actions would be appropriate.
- Stop at the scene of the accident and switch off your car’s engine. Put on your hazard lights. Be careful when leaving your car, being aware of other traffic.
- Try to stay calm. Maybe take some slow, deep breaths or use whatever anxiety-reducing methods may work for you.
- Itsuseful totake a photo of the accident scene if you can do this on your phone or you couldkeepapen and paper in your car so that you can make a sketch. Remember to note street names, vehicle locations, collision points and any damage.
- Ask for the names, addresses and vehicle registrations of any witnesses, including passengers in the other vehicle involved.
- Take down the registration number, make, model and colour of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Drivers must then exchange their own details by law. This includes name, address, telephone number and insurance details .
- If the other car involved is parked and its driver isn’t there, you must leave a note with your details on the car, perhaps under the windscreen wiper.
- You must then notify your insurance company of the accident.
Read Also: Can A Child Outgrow Autism
Tips And Resources For Specific Types Of Travel
Most people with autism can and should be able to walk around the neighborhood or through a grocery store independently. Many can use public transportation, including buses, trains, and planes, with appropriate support. There are also support organizations that can help with travel by air, sea, and ride-sharing.
Only a limited number of people with autism, however, can safely drive a car. Thats not because adults with autism cant master the physical process of driving , but because safe driving requires an ability to read the mind of other drivers who may be driving erratically, stopping short, or otherwise creating hazards.
They Are Resistant To Touch
Sometimes all we want to do with the ones we love who have autism is touch them, hold them and comfort them. Unfortunately individuals with autism are often uncomfortable and resist being touched. Remember though that while you may want to comfort them with your touch, it is really you who is seeking the comfort.
Recommended Reading: Is The Good Doctor Actor Really Autistic
Curbside Pickup Could Be Improved
Curbside pickup isn’t perfect. Many shoppers have experienced the frustration of an item going out of stock after they placed an order and finding the substitution doesn’t do the trick. Some people want to pick out their own produce, or use their own bags instead of receiving what seems like a separate plastic produce bag for each apple in an order. Finally, we all want to know whether we’re buying one piece of ginger or one pound of ginger, and that’s not always clear.
During the worst of lockdown, I used Ralphs curbside for groceries. I am always overwhelmed by grocery stores, so it was awesome to not have to go inside & do my thinking at home, over time. Downside: no way to say “ok, no frozen blueberries, fresh is fine,” but that’s their app.
People with mobility or vision problems don’t benefit as much from curbside pickup as home delivery, which not all stores offer from their apps or websites. Joel Isaac, an accessibility consultant in Northern California who is blind, said he’s picked up prepacked orders at stores but during the pandemic has mostly relied on home delivery through apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash.
“Being able to receive a delivery at home over the hassle and risk of arranging transportation to get to a store has made this trying time a little more bearable,” Isaac said.
And to be clear, some people with autism or ADHD find grocery shopping in a store an exciting experience they look forward to.
Can Autistic People Drive Like Their Peers
Can autistic people drive? Yes, they can! It might require a little more care, planning, and preparation, but every teen and young adult is different, whether they have an ASD diagnosis or not.
Find a school that is ready to handle your teen’s unique needs to learn to drive. Contact us today about our specialized programs to meet your ASD needs.
Recommended Reading: Jerry Seinfeld Autistic
You Think Motorcycles Are Best For Going Really Fast And Doing Wheelies
This is a quick way to get seriously injured or die on a motorcycle as a newbie. I love lofting the front end of my bike, its highly beneficial off-road when surmounting obstacles and there is nothing more badass than a well-held wheelie but on public roads, it can be dangerous and it is also illegal. Too many students I coach come into my class wanting to jump right onto a 600cc or 1000cc sportbike and care nothing about learning the basics of riding. Speed is something that comes with time and practice. Have patience. If not, welcome to the world of hurt and a drained bank account.
Bigger Bike + Lack of Skill = Death Trap
This is an elite motorcycle racer in MotoGP and even they crash sometimes. The difference is these elite riders have been riding and training all their life.
Look, motorcycles are dangerous. In fact, motorcycles are 38 times more dangerous than driving a car and if you hit an immovable object or someone hits you, youre the one thats going to get hurt or even die. Simply though, motorcycles are bicycles for adults. With high risk comes high reward and, at the end of the day, there’s nothing else quite like piloting a motorcycle. For me and many others, it is nirvana.
I want to see more people on bikes but it takes dedication and the development of skills to do it safely. If you cannot commit to that, then youre going to become a statistic. In the end, thats not really helpful in building the motorcycle community.
Autistic Spectrum Condition And Driving
You must tell DVLA if your autistic spectrum condition affects your ability to drive safely. This includes Asperger syndrome.
You can be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may be prosecuted if youre involved in an accident as a result.
Don’t Miss: Is The Good Doctor Actor Really Autistic
Why Are People With Autism At Higher Risk Of Covid
The higher risks of COVID-19 that researchers found in people with autism arent due to the developmental or intellectual disabilities themselves, but rather because people with them are more likely to live in a group setting, be unable to communicate about having symptoms, or have trouble understanding or following safety measures, according to the CDC.
Sometimes it is difficult for people with ASD to wear masks and keep social distancing, themselves and others at increased risk of spreading or acquiring COVID-19, says Robert Hendren, DO, a psychiatrist and the director of the program for research on neurodevelopmental and translational outcomes at the University of California in San Francisco.
Early symptoms may be overlooked because people with ASD may not be able to express their discomforts, such as sore throat. If someone with ASD gets COVID-19, they may have a very difficult time being in the hospital and receiving treatments that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and potentially scary, Dr. Hendren explains.
Further, and as noted by the authors of the NEJM Catalyst report, people with intellectual disabilities are more likely to have other health problems at the same time that put them at higher risk for infection and COVID-19 disease, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Banks says this is true of people with ASD as well.
Teen With Autism Reluctant To Drive Should This Parent Push
My son, who has autism, is not sure if he wants to learn to drive. Hes nervous about getting into an accident. He follows laws, is very careful and has driven go carts. His coordination is clumsy in games like catch or basketball. But he has good balance. Im encouraging him to be open about the idea. What are your thoughts?
Todays Got Questions? answer is by psychologist Cathryn Lehman, of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The medical center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network.
What a great question! Of course, many parents grapple with this topic to one degree or another. How do I know if and when my child is ready to drive? The level of concern is understandably elevated when your child has autism.
Its important to remember that theres no set rule to determine when someone is ready to drive, regardless of autism-related challenges. Some teenagers feel ready to drive as soon as theyre old enough. Others wait several years or choose the alternative of navigating their local public transportation system.
Often, life circumstances play the largest role in the decision-making process. For example, if your son is going to be responsible for commuting to and from college or a job, learning to drive may become an important component of his independence. However, if theres a bus or subway stop nearby, learning to drive may not be imperative.
You May Like: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
How To Drive A Car If You’re Autistic
wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 15 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 12,041 times.Learn more…
Driving can be especially challenging for autistic people. While some people on the spectrum are unable to drive safely, others learn how to do so, even if it takes longer. Many autistics are competent drivers and some even make a living as driving instructors.XResearch source If you think you are confident enough to drive a vehicle of your own, it’ll make your life a lot easier and you’ll be more independent.
Communication Impediment In Vehicle Registration
The option for disclosure of a communication disability/impediment when registering a vehicle through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Communication Impediment will then be privately placed in the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunication System thus alerting the officer of the challenge PRIOR to approaching the vehicle in a pull-over scenario. Form VTR-216 must be completed by a licensed physician if the applicant has a physical health condition or a licensed physician, licensed psychologist, or a non-physician mental health professional if the applicant has a mental health condition.
Determining Readiness To Drive
So how do you know when you or your teen is ready to drive?
It depends on the teens capabilities and eagerness. Conversations about driving should ideally start a year or two before the teen can get their permit so that families have enough time to add driving goals to the teens IEP if necessary. Families should also seek the advice of medical and support professionals.
Questions to consider:
- Do you feel you/your teen or young adult consistently demonstrates good judgment and maturity at school, around peers, and at home?
- Are you/your teen receptive to constructive criticism and instruction?
- Do you/your teen demonstrate knowledge of the rules of the road and other skills taught in driver education classes? If not, do you need specialized instruction or a driving assessment?
- Are you/your teen agreeable to practicing driving with a skilled adult prior to driving independently? If so, is there an adult who is willing and able to serve in this important role?
- Are there any medical or behavioural conditions that may prevent you/your teen from driving safely?
- Are there medical interventions that may be needed to ensure safe driving behaviours, such as treatment with ADHD medication if you/your teen has symptoms of ADHD?
- What should families do if their teen/young adult seems to have the skills necessary to drive but doesnt show interest in driving?
Improve Your Next Speech
As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:
- Are there any areas for improvement?
- Did I sound or look stressed?
- Did I stumble on my words? Why?
- Was I saying um too often?
- How was the flow of the speech?
Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, youll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.
If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:
Also Check: What Is The Autism Symbol
How Can A Caregiver Prepare Their Loved One With Autism For The Covid
Many people with ASD have already faced isolation, changes to their routines, and disruptions to their therapeutic care and education, says Banks. The process of getting a vaccination poses an added challenge, especially since many times the shots arent being given in a typical doctors office setting. Depending on where you live, getting a vaccine might mean going to a large stadium or convention center.
For some people with autism, experiences that are outside a typical daily routine can be upsetting, Banks explains. Theyll need to be introduced to the idea that they’re going to drive somewhere in their car, roll down their window, and somebody in medical equipment gear a face mask, shield, and gloves is going to give them an inoculation.
Hendrens advice: Depending on the person with ASDs ability to understand and express language, caregivers should try to explain the reason for the shot what will happen, step-by-step and perhaps even do a practice run with the person with ASD with the caregiver providing the example of what to expect.
The Autism Society of America has published visual explainers on its website that may be received and understood well by someone with autism. You can download them and show them to your loved one in preparation for COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and more.
They Love Information Trivia
Its not uncommon to find that our autistic loved ones are a wealth of information when it comes to random trivia statisticsand knowledge. Like a sponge, they have them ability to regurgitate stored information eloquently. While this behavior is often compulsive, remember that they are sharing what they love or care about with you. Be patient and take the time to listen to what could be their passion.
Read Also: Symmetra Comic Autism
Driving With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Learning to drive can be a challenge for anyone, but the reward of freedom, mobility, and independence can be life-changing. For individuals with autism spectrum disorder , there can be additional challenges, but the resulting freedom and mobility can be just as empowering.
While over 70% of high school seniors have a drivers license, this number drops to around 30% for those diagnosed with a form of autism.
In some cases, drivers with autism may feel overwhelmed by the many tasks, rules, and considerations involved in driving. For others, concern from parents or loved ones may keep them from learning, while the young adult is ready to drive and eager to learn the skills of the road.
In this article, well discuss autism and how it can affect your childs driving abilities. Then well touch on some ways your child can prepare to drive with the help of a driving specialist, and reach a new level of mobility and independence.