Letting your teen drive can be scary for parents, but it can be especially hard if your teen has Asperger's Syndrome. Wondering if your teen is ready to drive? Here are some questions to help you decide.
Does your teen have symptoms that would make driving difficult?
People with Asperger's Syndrome have a range of symptoms and experiences, and whilst driving may be safe for some, it may not be for others. Think about your teen's symptoms and decide if they would make driving unsafe.
For example, is he or she prone to anxiety attacks? Does your child have poor motor control or visual-spatial issues? If so, you may want him or her to wait to pursue driving.
Does your teen want to drive?
Desire can play a key role in the willingness to learn anything, including driving. Before pushing your teen into driving, make sure that he or she is really interested. Some kids are happy to wait a few years, and this can often be a safer option than pursuing a license at the youngest age possible.
Do you have a quality driving school in your area?
If your teen wants to drive and doesn't have any symptoms that would make it especially dangerous, it's time to start contacting driving schools in your area. In addition to looking at their safety and success rates, talk with the schools about whether or not they have experience with kids with Asperger's Syndrome.
If they don't have experience, are they willing to learn a bit about the differences between someone with Asperger's Syndrome and someone with it? Are they willing to offer your child additional help as needed?
Does the driving school focus on the social cues of driving?
In addition to ensuring that the driving school has experience with kids with Asperger's Syndrome or at least is willing to learn about it, you should talk with the school's admins about social cues. People with Asperger's Syndrome often have trouble decoding social cues, and driving is full of social cues.
Drivers use the movement of their cars, their signals and even sometimes hand gestures to communicate messages to other drivers. Someone with Asperger's Syndrome can learn these cues, but he or she may need extra practice compared to other young drivers.
To learn more about whether or not your child may be ready to start driving, contact someone who offers learner driving lessons in your area.
24 March 2016
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