The Experience of Learning to Drive for People With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Priscilla Vindin*, Nathan J. Wilson, Hoe Lee, Reinie Cordier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gaining a driver’s license can be difficult for student drivers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet little is known about their experiences of learning to drive. In this qualitative study, focus groups and individual interviews were employed to ascertain the perceptions of three participant groups, including people with ASD, parents of people with ASD, and driving instructors with experience teaching people with ASD to drive. Participants in each group were asked to discuss their feelings, concerns, and barriers, encountered while learning to drive, along with the driving behaviors, challenges, and strategies used when supporting people with ASD to learn to drive. Grounded theory analysis was used to shed light on the experience of learning to drive for people with ASD. Five themes emerged supporting the core construct that targeted support ameliorates intrinsic driving complexities, generating success: (a) challenges that increase the complexity of learning to drive, (b) external challenges to overcome, (c) concerns about the reality of driving, (d) the need for a specialized model of training, and (e) success is possible. These findings highlight the importance of developing an autism-specific driving training intervention designed for people with ASD, their families, and driving instructors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108835762110233
Number of pages12
JournalFocus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Early online date22 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jun 2021

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