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motherofhim
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27 Dec 2007, 2:05 pm

My son flunked his driving test because he was so nervous that he drove terribly. I am worried about his being able to get to community college next fall.

Has anyone got any help or information on how to get this kid (has had professional lessons), to get his nerves under control while driving?

Do most Aspies have this kind of problem. My son gets so nervous that its a terrible thing. His Mom and Dad drive fine.

Any help would be appreciated.


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Triangular_Trees
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27 Dec 2007, 4:32 pm

I never passed my drivers license test - and i do mean that honestly. They way they gave me my license was illegal.

The first time my nerves were calm, but he didn't give my license because he didn't like my right turn. The second time i had a different intructor and nearly killed us. Though i was more nervous that time it was largely my moms fault that i shaved decades off the instructors life - on the way there she said if I slowed down at all when i made a turn I wouldn't pass. So naturally i attempted to turn at 45 mph.

The third time, I had the same instructor is the first time. I was a nervous wreck because the past two times didn't succeed. I know i was visibly shaking and made a few foolish mistakes, enough so that the man was yelling "stop!" He remembered me and knew that i had gotten significantly worse.

Then we got back to the drivers license center and he said to "wait here." the photo guy came out and had me drive around the block, bypassing parallel parking, turning on the lights, etc. He signed off on my license. And apparently they told my mom that even though i had my license i shouldn't be allowed to drive by myself for at least a month.

Since i've gotten my license 10 years ago the only accident I was in was determined to be entirely the fault of the other driver.



Last edited by Triangular_Trees on 28 Dec 2007, 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Flow
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27 Dec 2007, 4:33 pm

Your son has don better than me. I'm too afraid to even get behind the wheel. I worry about crashing and getting hurt.


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motherofhim
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27 Dec 2007, 4:51 pm

Thanks for your replies and remember, to never, ever give up hope that what you want will come true!! !! You are all wonderful folk and don't let anyone put you down!! !!

We can only do what we can do.


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ster
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28 Dec 2007, 7:06 am

not really sure how hubby passed his driving exam.....still have a year before i have to worry about son taking his......



motherofhim
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28 Dec 2007, 11:54 am

Well, my son drives fine; but when we got to the test, his nerves were so shot that it was terrible. I am taking him out now, every single day, and hopefully, his nerves won't get shot for the next time he takes his test. The officer who gave him the test was very intimidating to our son.

Good luck with your son.


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motherofhim
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28 Dec 2007, 1:36 pm

Also, I think we are dealing with adhd along with Asperger's, which would account for some of the problems that my son is having with keeping himself in attention while driving, I just noticed this today..his attention problem.


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RedTape0651
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29 Dec 2007, 12:31 am

Difficulty driving is not unusual for Aspies, and I have had trouble with it myself. The primary reasons for my trouble, which could easily be similar to your son's problems, are the following:

1. Poor physical coordination in general.
2. Poor depth and spatial perception (I have trouble knowing when to brake, and how hard to hit the pedal).
3. Difficulty dealing with multiple road issues at once (e.g. being able to consistently check rearview mirrors, side mirrors, speed limits while concentrating on the road ahead.
4. Nervousness because I know I have the difficulties mentioned above.

I have my license, but drive infrequently, and I needed to take lessons from multiple professional driving instructors.

As for your son getting to community college, just take a moment to think about how difficult the trip will be for him. A commute involving parallel parking, crowded expressways, or gridlocked city streets is much harder than a commute involving non-crowded suburban four lane highways, small streets, and parking in parking lots. Fortunately, many areas that are the most difficult with respect to driving have decent transit service.

Other than that, I don't what to say, but I want to give my $0.02 on this issue.



Pandora
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29 Dec 2007, 6:19 am

This lad could be scared about the prospect of going to community college too. Is it possible for him to use public transport instead of driving? He might be feeling he is being rushed into something before he's ready. Is he keen on getting his licence or is it just being expected of him?

I didn't get my driver's until I was 27 and had to have lots of lessons.

I haven't driven for a while now because parking and dealing with heavy traffic was extremely nerve-wracking. I have trouble concentrating on more than one thing at a time and when driving, you need to be able to multitask to a high degree.


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motherofhim
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29 Dec 2007, 12:18 pm

Thanks Pandora and RedTape........as a senior in High School, my son is facing many changes with respect to college, driving, adolescent issues and the whole ball of wax that comes with becoming a young adult and dealing with the issues they bring and also, the issues that come with the adjustments to being an adult. My son is young for his age. He always was, even in nursery school, his teacher noted that he was "young for his age" as she put it. I didn't hold him back in school because his emotional age and his intellectual age were totally incongruous and either way, something was going to suffer. I elected to keep him in the grade most kids are and started his kindergarten at 5; his birthday being the last day of April, making him of course, on the young side. His social skills were behind his intellectual skills and, in fact, in 2nd grade, called the principal of his school "a complete moron" right to the mans' face. That being said, if we had any reservations about his maturity, that incident alone, sealed the knowledge regarding his maturity, however, he was born in 1990 and the knowledge of Asperger's was barely known to physicians at the time. So, the kid who could memorize anything he was interested in, in a serial interest way, left him bereft in his ability to maneuver the arena of social skills. Yes, I knew something was wrong, took him to CHOP, got a dx of ADHD, had reservations about the dx, at that time, and with another physician, got the Asperger's diagnosis when he was in elementary school; I having read Uta Frith's translation of Asperger's work, on my own. Being a medical assistant/secretary all of my adult life, helped me very much in weeding through the differential diagnoses.

I was rarther precocious growing up, but my son takes after his father, who has a touch of Asperger's himself, just a mild touch. He and my son understand each other better, however, my husband made all of his social milestones pretty much on time, whereas, our son seems a little more lagging in coordination, social skills, and maneuvering through beauracracies.

We have decided to let our son decide when he is ready to be re-tested. He doesn't start Community College until next fall of 2008 - there is a bus, train, bus to the college that he can take from walking from our house. I know that he is nervous about the changes that are coming and we are trying to alleviate his anxiety and ability to accept the changes that are imminent.

Our son would like to become a history teacher, but he has an uphill fight with some courses. His rote memory is fabulous but his mathmatical reasoning leaves him frustrated, being that usually academics come very easy to him, save for math and higher sciences. He passed chemistry but didn't none of us felt that he could deal with physics. (I've got math anxiety, and I'm not an Aspie, but affected with bipolar which is alleviated with medication of one sort or another) I was not diagnosed until my late 20's back in the 1970's and then, bipolar wasn't as familiar as it has become today.

That being said, we will have to go slow with our son and not pressure him to do more than he has been endowed with in his abilities, yet not let him give up on activities prematurely, which is a fine line, of itself alone.

Thank you for all of your advice and I welcome anyone that might have other ideas to communicate them to me.


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mellowmom
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31 Dec 2007, 7:40 pm

Hi, I have a 21 yr old son, not formally dx. We learned about As when he was 17. It explains soooooo much about his growing years. I began working in the field of autism to learn more, and am convinced he has it. But as an official dx wouldn't change anuthing or offer any opportunities, he chooses not to pursue the subject.

As for his driving, well.... He failed his first exam also, had a few more lessons and re-did the exam when he felt ready, and passed. I was torn!! ! He was working and attending uni, so having a car would make our lives much easier, but I was FEARFUL :roll: everytime he went out. Fortunately, his destinations were basically nearby, or consistently the same route, so he gained experiece and became more confident. And he was always a slow driver, so I rested in the knowledge that any accidents of his making would probably be minor.

Because we had no idea what was going on when he was younger, we pushed him to some degree to chellenge his comfort zones, but I like to think we also backed off when he wasn't ready, showing him that we stood behind him all the way. He has learned to push himself now, as with his driving, and we cannot discourage that! And after a few years of driving, my anxiety levels are reducing. On the road he is quite good, it's parking lots that make me close my eyes and say a prayer!! !

Good luck to you and yours, have a great new year



motherofhim
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31 Dec 2007, 9:01 pm

Thanks for your information. Unfortunately, our son is quite stubborn and his comfort levels, no matter what we have done, don't seem to be adjustable, in any event. He is his own worst enemy. We will hope for the best for his next trip, when he is ready and hope for the best.

Thanks and Happy New Year!


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RainSong
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01 Jan 2008, 9:37 pm

motherofhim wrote:
His social skills were behind his intellectual skills and, in fact, in 2nd grade, called the principal of his school "a complete moron" right to the mans' face.


I did something similar in the 8th grade; I called the principle rude in front of the entire office. She was (is); I didn't (and don't) understand why everyone was upset. To this day, I wouldn't bypass the opportunity to call her an ignorant... witch, but unfortunately it hasn't been presented yet.

Anyway...

You mentioned that your son has professional lessons. Would it be possible to schedule one right before the exam? My mother did that just before my test; we went through everything that was on the test (and some things that weren't), and he even came all the way to the driving center with me (with me driving, of course). I can't say it was all that calming, but having a review might make him more comfortable and confident in his knowledge.

As to the not paying attention problem - personally, I have no form of ADD, ADHD, or any other attention disorder, but I simply don't pay attention to the road well when driving. I zoned out, became more concentrated on the speedometer, ect. I find that having music that I enjoy turned up helps me a lot; the more distracted I become, the more I turn it up. I can see how this could distract some people even more, but it might be worth a try if paying attention to the road becomes too much of a problem.

I hope all goes well for him and you.


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motherofhim
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01 Jan 2008, 11:18 pm

Thanks Heather! I am hoping that now that our son has had a taste of what the test is all about, he will be more at ease. He was really taken aback by the gruffness of the officer adminstering the test and I think that is what threw him off.

Happy New Year!! !


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Pandora
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02 Jan 2008, 4:45 am

If your son has to use public transport, would you or another family member or friend be able to go with him the first few times to make sure he knows what to do? Ditto for getting around the community college?

I was another one who was emotionally very young for their age but intellectually ahead of my age. It didn't cause too many issues in school but it certainly did once I had to leave home and go to college. It didn't matter how hard I tried, I could not please some people, including the principals.


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Break out you Western girls,
Hold your heads up high.
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