Most people with Asperger’s can learn to drive, but their process may take longer because of their poor motor coordination. Once they learn a set of rules, they are likely to follow them to the letter – a trait that helps in driving. However, those with Asperger’s Syndrome may lack the ability to judge what other road users, pedestrians, animals etc might do and how this should affect their own driving.
Here are 6 things to consider when learning to drive as a person with AS:
- Follow familiar routes as often as possible. New routes and not knowing where they are going can easily distract and upset someone with AS.
- Be prepared to keep calm when other drivers break the rules of the road. Those with AS need to anticipate the actions of other cars by observing their behavior –the most important thing to pay attention to is other cars.
- Computer simulations for practicing to drive are usually not helpful as those with Asperger’s may not generalize the information well enough from the simulation to real life situations.
- Learning to ride a bike as a child and passing the Cycling Proficiency Test would be a very good foundation for anyone with AS as this will help them become more aware of the possible actions of other drivers and pedestrians.
- People with Asperger’s Syndrome are eligible for a driver’s license but it is against the law for them not to declare that they have AS on their DMV application.
- It is important to have an instructor who is aware of the anxieties and other issues that someone with AS will have. This will go a long way towards calm, positive lessons where what is taught and being learnt is remembered and recalled.