Parental Support is Key When Adolescents with Autism Want to Learn to Drive

Posted on June 21, 2019

Although some driving instructors have had experience teaching youths with autism, there is still limited knowledge for teaching these individuals how to drive. According to these instructors, it is important to communicate driving instructions clearly to these adolescents in a manner that they are able to comprehend well. Therefore, driving lessons have to be highly individualised.

A five-year study was done by researchers from various institutions to obtain information from specialised driving instructors who have worked with adolescents with autism before. Based on the interviews, it was found that parents are critical figures in the lives of these adolescents when they start to learn how to drive independently. The instructors also encourage parents to instil important life and pre-driving skills that gives their children more autonomy, preparing them for actual driving. Parents should guide their children to be more independent by engaging them in activities such as cooking and taking public transportation by themselves, regardless of whether they plan to learn driving or not.

Furthermore, it is important for driving instructors to recognise the need to adjust their teaching methods to suit the learning need of these individuals with autism. This is because autism exists along a spectrum, where individuals experience the disorder to varying degrees.

Getting a driving license plays a huge role in the progression to adulthood, as it signifies greater autonomy of individuals with autism. Hence, they would have more access to better jobs and education. Prior research has found that about one-third of young adults who are autistic achieved their driving license by 21, enhancing their independence.

Category(s):Autism spectrum disorders, Parenting

Source material from Science Daily