Driving with learning difficulties
Learning to drive can be a daunting path to start along. When there are extra obstacles in the way that make the task more difficult, the situation can become even more of a challenge.
Learning difficulties encompass a wide variety of issues, however, this does not mean driving is a closed door. Social misunderstandings on the road can lead to students becoming more tense, which in turn can make learning harder. There are other associated issues, such as co-ordination, language and comprehension.
These obstacles do not mean you are unable to gain the freedom driving allows, but there are some worthwhile things to think about first.
- Be realistic about the time it may take. Some people find driving easy, have an excellent memory and are immune to the feeling other drivers are judging them; but I have yet to meet one. Driving is a difficult task requiring concentration, co-ordination, understanding of others and the confidence to make a decision. This takes time to build.
- Find an instructor you feel at ease with and who understands the specific learning difficulty. If they do not understand your issues you should find one that does. There are some driving instructors who think passing the ADI test is all they need to do. Find an instructor who is prepared to continue their learning. Ask if they have attended any courses in the last year, if so they understand learning never stops.
- Patience is a virtue, but also necessary in teaching. Do not think that every time you pull over you have made a massive error; there are many learning styles and it may be that a fresh approach is required. To learn the instructor needs to communicate in a way you understand and if you find it best to learn using diagrams or observing the point directly, rather than talking about it, demand to be taught that way. You are the student and paying for the lesson - so make sure you get what you pay for.
At East Northants Driving School we have experience teaching students with dyspraxia, dyslexia, number blindness and aspergers. We pride ourselves of a calm and open attitude.
ENDS are committed to developing instructor skills and knowledge further, courses in coaching and advanced car control are booked for the next month, after all learning never stops.