Is Your Teen with Autism Ready to Drive? 8 Ways to Start Teaching Them

4. Find teachable moments on and off the road.

You can use your child’s mistakes as a segue into a conversation about what to do in a certain driving situation, but doing this too often will hurt your teen’s confidence, especially if he or she struggles to accept criticism. Instead, use your own driving as an example, or point out other cars on the road whose drivers are doing a good job or disobeying the rules in some way. You can also use other scenarios to illustrate driving concepts; for example, explain why you have to slow down to 10 to 20 miles per hour when you turn by having your child ride a bicycle around some cones.

3. Stay in areas where your teen feels comfortable.

Especially when your child first starts driving, only have them practice in areas they are familiar with. When they are ready to venture out to unfamiliar places, make sure they know how to use a GPS and have a cell phone to contact you with in case they run into trouble.

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Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?
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