How common are public transport issues in people with ASD?

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glider18
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15 Nov 2011, 8:08 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I think that I lose significant parts of my brain whenever I take the subway. The sensory overload and resulting loss of function cause me to get off at the wrong stop several times in a row and forget where I am going and what I am going to do there. Once I get there, I still have to recover from the overload and find a way to get my brain back.


Oh geez...subways :?. I have been to cities with subways with my wife on her business trips. I can't really do the subway by myself---it is too much sensory overload for me. Once on the subways, I have no idea where I'm at, where to get off at, where to get on at, or anything. In Washington D.C., my wife knew exactly what to do and where to go, and I'm like WHAT??? I get turned around easily. One time after playing dulcimers in a church, I was packing up to leave. I got lost on my way to the car and ended up in the church balcony. I finally asked directions to find my way out.


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15 Nov 2011, 10:13 pm

I can't take the buses anywhere after 4 in the afternoon. That's when most of the school kids are riding home, because they like to hang around their schools for an hour after dismissal time. Other than that, I can handle public transport just fine.


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15 Nov 2011, 10:36 pm

Main issue I have is if its crowded that tends to make me anxious and uncomfortable. But I can't afford a car so I don't have much choice......though rather soon I probably wont be able to even afford riding the bus.



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15 Nov 2011, 11:14 pm

I rely in public transportation and for the most part its fine. I hate when people try to talk to you on the bus, it annoys me.



AdamDZ
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17 Nov 2011, 8:24 pm

I don't like being enclosed in small spaces with lots of people for long times. In particular in a metal tube under ground or in the sky. Off-hours it's easier, but taking a subway in the morning during rush hours might make me dysfunctional for most of the day. That's why I ride a bike or, if I have to take the subway, I come late.



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17 Nov 2011, 9:26 pm

I used to rely on public transportation, when I lived in a city that had it. Right now I live far from everything, including public transportation. I do have to rely on others for transportation, even though I am an adult.

From what I've seen, it's normal for some autistic people to have trouble with buses and such. It's normal for some to manage them fairly well. It's also normal for some to sometimes manage public transit, and sometimes not be able to do so.

I've even seen people on this forum say they can't go anywhere alone. It's a spectrum, with a lot of possibilities.



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17 Nov 2011, 10:24 pm

I'm one who's spatial awareness and mental calculations apparently exceed most people (verdict at my diagnosis), which for me means that driving is not only possible, but I greatly enjoy it.
To me a car is possibly my most valuable item, as it allows me to travel in solitude and complete control to far away places. Whilst I'm also not entirely comfortable with traveling to new places on my own, I'll much rather do it in a car than using public transport.

Public transport means having to rely on a wholly inept system of thousands of other people attempting (and often failing) to keep it in running order. Then, just to make it that bit worse, they add tens of thousands of random strangers into the mix, and just to confuse us every station looks the same and buses don't even adequately announce upcoming stops. Adding torture to insult and injury, heating generally doesn't work in winter and cooling doesn't work in summer, so in effect you end up sitting in a large tin can with a hundred other sweaty sardines and crying baby sardines for hour upon ungodly delayed hour.
If I have no other option I can manage public transport, and have done so for years, but I truly despise just about everything about it.



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17 Nov 2011, 10:31 pm

I always get sensory overload on public buses, not so much on trains. On trains in goes my earphones and I look out of the window and forget where I am. Bus trips are shorter so I'm nervous about missing my stop or someone sitting next to me to block me getting off. But the clutter in unbearable. I just feel so awkward when catching buses.


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readingbetweenlines
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18 Nov 2011, 5:40 am

AdamDZ wrote:
I don't like being enclosed in small spaces with lots of people for long times. In particular in a metal tube under ground or in the sky.

Yep. I think that's pretty common. It doesn't have to be especially crowded, even just full causes some people with AS problems. It's mainly the closeness of too many bods.


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18 Nov 2011, 11:27 am

Hmm... sounds like the disability advisor needs disability advice...

A lot of people on the spectrum have problems with public transport. I live with 8 people who have varying degrees of autism and only one of them actually enjoys taking the bus/train. I would like to take the train but only if it had NO people on it. For me it is a sensory issue plus I get frightened because I am not able to control where the bus goes.


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oddone
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18 Nov 2011, 12:13 pm

One advantage of the train is that it can only go where the rails are. And it can't leap out at you like a bus can. And if there's a station by your house you can be pretty sure that the service will be there long term. Bus routes can be cancelled overnight.



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18 Nov 2011, 12:16 pm

Todesking wrote:
I feel anxiety on the bus even when I am the only person on it. I think it has to do with the vibrations of the bus. Everytime I try to take a bus I get lost I have a tendency to day dream causing me to over shoot my stop. I avoid taking the bus like the plague.



For me, the machine itself is no problem. Being trapped in an enclosed space with the other passengers is the difficulty. It's not so bad on a train, because you can get up and go to another part of the train if it gets too much. This must be some kind of anti-people phobia. :(



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18 Nov 2011, 12:18 pm

I get stressed from knowing where to look and the noise and people knocking into me and sharing space on the seat/on luggage racks. I can't relax until I know I am on the right transport and going to get there on time. I'm constantly tracking what time I will arrive. I end up rehearsing in my head what I am going to say to the conductor to buy a ticket and inspectors can be a little stressful. It is easier if I just have a pass and just show them every day.
I would take this over driving to the centre of a new busy city and parking.



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18 Nov 2011, 5:32 pm

I hope you're going to print this entire thread, and show it to your advisor.

Public transport is terrifying to all sorts of people with anxiety issues.
Add sensory issues, having no sense of direction, an inability to quickly process large scale novelty, and the usual fear of making mistakes in front of an audience,
and it's a wonder any of us take public transportation.



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18 Nov 2011, 6:23 pm

Nebulo wrote:
To me a car is possibly my most valuable item, as it allows me to travel in solitude and complete control to far away places.


I assume you drive in traffic-free area. Driving in NYC is exactly the opposite of "complete control", you're at the mercy of the traffic and construction crews. For me bike is the epitome of "complete control": completely independent of traffic, I can dismount and become pedestrian if I have to. Generally, bicycle is the fastest and more reliable method of transportation in NYC.

Now, I do enjoy driving far from the city on quiet roads and empty highways, but that's a different story. I much prefer driving over trains or flying if I need to get somewhere far,



AdamDZ
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18 Nov 2011, 6:26 pm

oddone wrote:
One advantage of the train is that it can only go where the rails are. And it can't leap out at you like a bus can. And if there's a station by your house you can be pretty sure that the service will be there long term. Bus routes can be cancelled overnight.


Plenty of commuter rail and subway stations have been closed, or have limited service, in NYC/NYS due to budget cuts.