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Driving and Autism Spectrum Disorder

In the United States and most other countries, there are no legal restrictions inhibiting people with autism to drive. As long as the individual can pass the required tests and demonstrate safe driving behavior, they are permitted to obtain a driver’s permit and eventually a driver’s license. Keep in mind that driving laws do vary from state to state, so it is recommended you check with your local department of motor vehicles for details. In Central Florida? Reach out to The Neuro Hub, we can answer any of your questions regarding driver rehabilitation and training.

Parents of teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often wonder: can my child drive safely?

When this question arises, we recommend consulting with a certified driver rehabilitation specialist (CDRS) for a comprehensive driving evaluation. As this diagnosis presents as a spectrum of challenges for the person, some may be able to learn to drive quickly whereas others face bigger difficulties. Unless a person undergoes a thorough evaluation it may be unclear how the diagnosis can really affect a person behind the wheel.

Autism can bring many unique challenges that can make learning to drive, or driving safety a concern.

Some of the top challenges someone with autism could face that could affect their driving skills are:

• attention problems

• cognition issues: working memory, intellectual disability

• communication with others (verbal and nonverbal)

• delayed decision making skills

• delayed recognition of hazards

• poor planning skills

• reduced visual perception

• motor skills and coordination challenges

• mental flexibility issues

• sensory issues

• difficulty multi-tasking and executive function

In general, many clients with ASD know the rules of driving extremely well but, because they often interpret instructions literally, it’s difficult for them to know when it makes “safety sense” to break a rule. Even people with high functioning autism can be affected and limited by any of these challages. The good news, with thorough preparation, lots of practice and optimal learning conditions, young adults with autism has the opportunity to become good drivers.

The Neuro Hub is your one stop for answers regarding driving and autism spectrum disorder. We are here to answer your questions! Visit our website at or contact us at 407-900-1818 and

Happy Driving!

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