We recently shared a link on our facebook page about a driving study regarding Autistic adults. Driving is a goal that the majority of our clients have. There have been varying degrees of success with this as approximately half of our clients have obtained a drivers license. Today we will share their challenges with this goal and discuss recommendations to overcome these obstacles.
- Driving downtown. A couple of our clients expressed anxiety about driving downtown. They don’t like all the congestion that is related to downtown. It has an almost claustrophobic feel to it. Not only that, but with so many lights there it takes a longer time to get places and it stresses them out to have to wait at all of the red lights they encounter in that area. In addition, there are many one way streets which cause them to have to focus more of their energy on driving than usual.
- Maneuverability. A few of our clients haven’t gotten their driving license because of the challenge of the maneuverability test.
- New places. A couple of our clients don’t like driving to new places because they are anxious they will get lost. We talked to them about using a GPS system. However, they have a hard time looking at the GPS and driving at the same time. The auditory portion of the GPS doesn’t work for them as well because the directions are said too quickly.
- Spatial Visualization Ability. This is the ability to mentally manipulate 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects. A couple of our clients commented on how this has impacted driving. One client expressed that getting on the highway is very stressful as its tough to judge distance and he gets very anxious that he get into an accident. Another client told us that making a turn onto a street that another car is driving on is challenging because it is tough to determine the distance of that car.
We believe that any of these challenges can be overcome or at least be made more manageable for our clients and many others. These are issues we can work on by developing a plan and then taking it step by step to eventually achieve these driving goals. We stress the importance of practicing these skills consistently if you want to get better at them.
If you are interested in Autism Personal Coach coaching you or your family in achieving any of these goals you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .