May 17, 2017
Although only one-third of teenagers with autism spectrum disorder acquire an intermediate driver’s license, 90% of those who did acquired their license within 2 years of becoming eligible for their learner’s permit; this time line indicates that teenagers with autism and their families may be making decisions about driving before obtaining a permit rather than during the learning process.
“For teens on the autism spectrum, the decision to pursue a driver’s license is one of several milestones that other families might take for granted. Independent means of transportation contributes to other long-term opportunities, such as post-high school education or employment and being socially involved and connected within their community,” Benjamin Yerys, PhD, from the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a press release. “ASD can affect decision-making, information processing and attention to varying degrees, and we need to understand what resources, specialized instruction, and other supports might be helpful for teens and adults with ASD who are considering or preparing to drive.”