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Let’s Talk About Parental Involvement And How It Relates To Being Autistic And Learning To Drive.

  • March 10, 2022
  • Andrew Arboe

For many individuals, and particularly for autistic individuals, parental involvement is often a large piece of their learning to drive journey. Because of that, it is important to create a sense of understanding between the individual learning to drive and their parents, especially when an autistic individual wants to drive but their parents are worried or concerned about their safety. Figuring out parental involvement is often one of the first steps in any individual learning to drive journey. It comes before getting a driver's license, a learner's permit, taking a driving test, or even going to the DMV. Parental involvement is often about building a support network for this often difficult journey. Figuring out how parents and drivers can build this support network in a way that makes them both comfortable is incredibly valuable for having a positive experience learning to drive. This can be one of the toughest parts of learning to drive, and we haven’t even gotten to the driving part yet!

We at Driving With Autism believe the answer to this difficult situation isn’t to leave parents out of this process, but to bring them into it on the autistic individual's terms. There are likely mixed emotions in the parent and autistic individual, ranging from excitement to anxiety. It is often very important for parents to play a supportive role to help their new driver ease into driving and accept the associated challenges. Parents can be a new driver's best resource, and we believe it’s extremely valuable for new autistic drivers to have that resource whenever possible. Support from parents isn’t always necessary to obtain a license, but it can make getting a license a more doable and less anxiety-ridden process.

If you are an autistic individual who’s reading this and is interested in learning to drive but nervous about bringing it up to your parents we have a few tips. A lot of these also apply to parents who may be nervous to talk to their children about this topic. First, it’s okay to take some time to build up your courage and confidence. Chances are that both you and your parents are equally nervous about this journey because of the unknowns and responsibilities it comes with. Take the time you need to figure out what you really want out of driving and how to show your parents you’ve thought it through. Also keep in mind that you’re not committing to anything forever, and you and your parents should remember that. A great way to find out if driving is for you is to try it, this is about exploring possibilities and that means neither your parents or you should get to far ahead of themselves. Lastly, tough conversations sometimes require support, and if you need someone else there to help you have these conversations with your parents, that’s completely okay.

This is why the second topic we cover in our webinar Training Series is Parental Involvement. Based on past consultations with parents, this webinar, designed and given by Andrew Arboe, autistic individual and Founder of Driving With Autism, will review the challenges outlined above and strategies to overcome them. This webinar will directly address fears and worries that parents typically have while also discussing how to help their children succeed at reaching their goals as autistic individuals. Learning to drive is always easier with a supportive team, and this webinar seeks to start building that team.

If you are interested in our Webinar series for Driving With Autism and the other topics it covers you can learn more here.

Contact us for autism-centered virtual education driving school training.


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