Dyspraxia And Driving – Can It Be Done?
“If you have Dyspraxia you will have problems driving”
Do you suffer from Dyspraxia? Or know someone who does?
It used to be called “clumsy child” syndrome.
When I was growing up I really suffered due to my clumsiness and was forever being told that I would have problems driving when I was older.
Here is my story about growing up with Dyspraxia.
Why was this? Why wouldn’t I be able to drive a car?
As Dyspraxia affects your coordination it could be a challenge.
Reasons Why It May Be Difficult
- Coordination – The ability to coordinate your body together could affect the action of driving, changing gear or even moving the car
- Spatial Awareness – Judging the distances between things. Staying in the right lane. Even judging speed.
- Short Term Memory – Taking directions or even remembering how to drive.
This is just my experiences with learning to drive and might vary from someone else’s.
But if you or someone you know has Dyspraxia and is thinking/worrying about driving it may help to read about how someone else dealt with it.
Firstly I had no desire to drive, years of being told I wouldn’t be able to convince me that I wouldn’t be able to do it.
Then when I was around 13 I was knocked off of my bike by a car, yes a Dyspraxic riding his bike all over the place on a busy road! I was fine but my bike wasn’t!
When I came to be 17 (the legal age to drive in the UK) I had no desire to learn. All my friends started to learn to drive.
Then as we got older they all had cars.
I still had no desire to drive as I could get lifts!
I then met Clair and she could drive, then I became a parent.
When I got to 28 years old, after years of being nagged at by Clair and work I started to learn to drive! (well Clair secretly booked lessons for me)
Then it began!
Oh my days, the first few lessons were terrifying for me and no doubt for my instructor too!
Continuously stalling the car, swerving in and out the road, pressing the windscreen wipers instead of the indicator!
I used to break out in a sweat, and I’m sure my instructor did too!
One time I even pulled up and refused to drive anymore as I was working myself up so much!
The thought and the process of having to do several things at once (gas pedal, clutch, steering wheel, gears and looking where I was going) was a real struggle at first.
How could I drive when I can’t walk in a straight line and still struggle with my left and rights!
I see my anxiety like an avalanche, where it starts off and gets bigger and bigger as I acknowledge it and then keeps building up until its too late to do anything about it.
It Will Be Fine
I have had this said to me thousands of times. With me, I don’t know if its the Dyspraxia, ADHD or just my anxiety but I always need reassurance.
If I do anything I need reassurance that I’ve done it to a decent standard, or right.
When I started my driving lessons I wasn’t sure if I should tell my instructor that I suffer from Dyspraxia, but after my first lesson, I did.
I was expecting him to react differently than he did.
I was expecting him to reassure me that it be fine, or say that he would take it easy on me.
But he didn’t, he just said “ok”!!
Now for me, this was the perfect reaction. I am very competitive. Throughout my life, I have worked my hardest to achieve things that other people told me I could not do.
- “You can’t run properly” – I ran 1500m in a sports day at school
- “You can’t catch a ball” – I ended up being a goalkeeper
- “You’re going to struggle at school” – I ended up getting good grades and doing well at college
- “You’re going to struggle to get a job” – I am highly qualified in my job which I’ve had for 17 years!
And now I can say – I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST!
It did take me 2 attempts at my test. During my first test, I was really nervous, which affected my driving.
You Can Do It
Of course, it can be done.
- Instructor – Tell your instructor straight away, explain your difficulties. It’s in their interest for you to pass too. If it’s not a right fit change instructors.
- Practice – Like everything the more you practice in the right way, the better you become.
- Patience – Take it easy don’t expect to get in a car do a few lessons and then be Lewis Hamilton. Take your time.
This can go for anyone! Yes, Dyspraxia makes things difficult. From my experiences I have found, that where I am used to messing up a lot I have gotten used to keeping on trying.
If you want to drive, give it a go. If it’s not for you, then you don’t have to carry on!
Do you have Dyspraxia? Did you struggle driving with Dyspraxia?
Do you have a story about Dyspraxia? Would you like to share it? If so please get in contact.
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