My son is 15 and I know this whole issue is just around the corner.  I can no longer put off the inevitable.


Here’s a good resource when your household is ready! http://www.teendriversource.org/

The important thing is not to rush your child.  Good luck and buckle up!


2 responses to “TEEN DRIVERS WITH ASDs

  1. Susan Germain-Wachs

    I put my son David into the AAA driver’s program with the most amount of driving behind the wheel. This gave him the confidence to keep practicing and driving my Toyota Sienna. He was an excellent driver but it took him many times of driving tests to pass. Finally we left Fullerton DMV and went to the Corona one. He finally passed and drives himself to anime and to Fullerton College. If he could get a job driving-this is his expertise. That and putting things together. He has great spatial relations. But he has no friends and no skills to live on his own. We worry what will happen when we die.

  2. Glad to hear that program worked well for your son. It would be great to hear from others as to what driving programs worked for them.
    My son is one month shy of 15-and-a-half, but we decided (my son, me and my husband) to wait a bit. I want to make sure his motor and visual skills are where they need to be; plus, he’s very easily distracted and I want to be certain he can stay focused on something as critical as driving.
    I came across an interesting document from England http://www.oaasis.co.uk/documents/Info_Sheets/Driving_and_Asperger_Syndrome on this topic. It includes this excerpt from Marc Segar’s “A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome:”
    Marc Segar 1974-1997
    • Driving is quite a bizarre skill to learn. How fast you pick up driving often has nothing at all to do with your intelligence in other things. Some real dimwits are still able to learn to drive in as few as five lessons whereas some really intelligent people can need as many as fifty lessons.
    • I myself went through sheer hell learning to drive. The most difficult thing for me was planning in advance and thinking ahead. I also had a very heavy telling off from one of my driving instructors.
    • Try to find a sensitive instructor if you can. Some driving instructors can be opinionated, randy, impulsive and impatient.
    • As already pointed out, try not to compare yourself with other people. Other people might be exaggerating about how few lessons they needed and might be lying when they say they passed first time.
    • Slow progress is still progress.
    Source: http://www.asperger-marriage.info/survguide/driving.html
    And Susan, putting things together, as you say, is quite a skill. Marry that ability with whatever your son is passionate about and you may be on to something. As you know, my son is really into film. He studies directors, locations, different genres, you name it. Whenever he struggles with something, I try to put it in movie terms. The light bulb goes on and he’s off and running. And believe me, you’re not the only parent who tosses and turns all night worrying about what happens to our kids when we’re gone. If we’re being honest, it haunts us. That’s why it’s exciting to me that The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group [www.ocaspergers.org] is hosting Elizabeth McCoy on April 16, 2012 in Newport. The topic is “Special Needs Trusts (SNT) and Conservatorships: Planning to Protect Your Child.” The presentation will address the types of SNTs; pros and cons of each; set-up and administration; the court process of obtaining conservatorship (with insight about Orange County,) and the alternatives to conservatorship for families who have a child with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger’s. I’ve met Elizabeth McCoy (Special Needs Trusts) http://www.ca-specialneedstrusts.com and she really knows her field. I’m looking forward to hearing what she’s got to say.
    As for independent living skills, can your son prepare a meal for himself? Can he be left alone for a day? I specialize in this area and would be happy to work with you on some basic skills, if you’re interested. –debora

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