Hi, my son is 17. And about 6 years ago he was diagnosed with Aspergers. He is in 11th grade in school, and very smart academically. Socially he is very awkward. He does not understand social cues, and talks very "lazy". By lazy talking, I mean he cuts of his words and kind of baby talks for lack of a better word. He is a good kid, but is ALWAYS talking to himself. There are times he is talking so loud when he is out in our backyard, I can hear him plain as day when I am in the house. I do have a BIG question, my husband and I have been really struggling over this issue for the last year. How many kids out there with Aspergers have went through driver's training and got their license? Our son has very little safety skills, and that is sketchy. Some times he acts totally "normal" and other times he is definitely in his own world. So we are really scared for him if he is able to get his license. Would he be able to pay good enough attention to his surroundings to not hurt himself or others while driving? His grandparents just don't seem to understand, and our son says he does, but I don't think he does. Everyone is asking us when he is going to go into driver's training, or when will he get his license. And I just don't think it is a good idea. Am I being overly paranoid, or is it an attainable goal for him?
It’s a tricky one this. My son is 16 (he was diagnosed with Asperger’s 10 years ago) and both I and my wife have pondering the very same thing. He wants to learn to drive and naturally we support his decisions but in the same token it does play at the back of our minds as how or even if he copes with being in control of a car on his own. He is easily distracted and the smallest things that we won’t give a second thought to can very easily command his attention.
I personally have no issue with him actually learning to drive because of course he will be with an instructor, who we will inform of his condition. And I actually think he would be able to learn to drive but it afterwards where we have concerns. I can only speak for us but our son as very definite areas of interest and likes. If he likes something he can tune into it very quickly and focus a lot of his energies towards it. If on the other hand he does not like something, the shutters come down and he simply switches off to it. I am guessing (and this is only a guess) that learning to drive will have the same effect. He will either tune in or out to it. As you are no doubt aware if somebody with Asperger’s does like doing something they will very quickly stop doing it or make it perfectly clear they don’t like or want to do it. I would say it is certainly an attainable goal for your son but ultimately it will be whether your son wishes it to be an attainable goal.
My concern really is not the fact that he as Asperger’s which I don’t view as an obstacle to many things but the fact he is a teenager. My son, like another teenager, may want to show off and like many other teenagers it is this that can and does cause damage. If anything I have more reservations about his age rather than his condition.
Let us know how this works out for you but we personally are going to let him learn to drive and encourage him in every way we can to do so. As to whether he will tunes in or out, well that remains to be seen.
Last edited by blokecalledkev; 05-03-2012 at 03:23 AM.
I too would at least encourage him to learn to drive. If it does become an area of interest then he will no doubt be come an expert and therefore one of the best drivers on the planet. Just don't let him drive on his own until your comfortable with that.
I think driving is OK. Driving is not really a social skill but it is a motor skill. Many people who are antisocial can drive and they just cannot socialize.
Let him try it. If he can pass it, then he may be able to drive.
If you have any doubt, check with his doctor and discuss with him about this.
The specialist in Asperger's should know.
I have twin boys both with Aspergers. It expresses itself differently with both boy as one is more on the Autism spectrum. They are now both 24 and I wanted to wait until they were more mature and had more time to develop better judement before going for their licenses. All young people need this but much more in developmentaly challenged kids. One has been driving just fine for a few years, very safe driver but the other tends towards impulsivity and has not started to drive yet, I have my worries about him as he stresses easily and could become confused. Good advice to check with your specialist.