Learn To Drive; Autistic Adults

Teaching people to drive who are on the Autistic Spectrum or those that have learning difficulties should not be a barrier to learning

Many adults on with learning and social difficulties take driving lessons and have no difficulties at all mastering driving skills.

Laugh n Pass & 1st Drive Forward have available Driving instructors who are competent in teaching any person who has difficulties with communication and socializing skills.

We have Experienced Driving Instructors

As a parent, you understand how to relate and communicate with your child without causing too much anxiety. For a Driving Instructor with no understanding, it would most likely cause an uncomfortable and almost impossible learning environment.

Our Driving Instructors not only recognize the sign,s but are able to adapt the teaching methods to suit their individual needs. Communication can be the most challenging as you will know. Communication can often be misunderstood, and too much information is likely to cause overload.  

Importantly our Driving instructors are happy to teach learners with any learning / social difficulties They will incorporate the use of techniques and visuals to get the message across whilst at the same time will build confidence and independance.

Driving lessons for Autistic Adults

Before taking driving lessons with us we may wish to speak with parents to understand more about any anxieties that they may have and what may trigger them. The more we know the more we can support them.

Qualities of the Driving Instructors

  • give simple, clear concise information
  • give factual information
  • use diagrams and other resources
  • recognise when information misunderstood
  • have the ability to read body language
  • avoid sarcasm and innuendos
  • aims to engage in a 2-way conversation
  • is empathetic and patient

Rules regarding Fitness to Drive


Speak to your Doctor: Initially, it may be worth discussing the plan to learn to drive with your GP, as we are no experts. Your GP will have access to the DVLA guidelines for people with a disability and will be able to go through these with you.

The at-a-glance guide to the current medical standards of fitness to drive can be accessed at: www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions Standards relating to autism and Asperger syndrome can be accessed on page 32 of this guide.

The medical standards specifically consider the impulsive behavior that can be present in autism and Asperger syndrome in relation to fitness to drive. Each case is judged on an individual basis. Contact a the DVLA medical adviser to discuss this further.

Driving license Application for a Provisional Licence

The normal minimum age for driving is 17 but if you are getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) higher rate of mobility you can learn to drive at 16. The rules that require you to disclose a diagnosis of an ASD and the procedure for applying for a driving licence can be found on the DVLA website: Autistic Spectrum conditions and driving.

Apply for a provisional driving licence

In the case of autistic spectrum disorders, barriers to holding a license might include a history of epilepsy, perceptual problems, difficulties with multi-tasking, poor motor control or dyspraxia, and problems with sequencing. These should not be an absolute barrier to gaining a licence but you will need to be aware that they may present difficulties. We always recommend starting with manual driving lessons rather than automatic as changing gear for some can keep them focused and alert.

Autism Helpline

Tel:0808 800 4104 (open 10.00am-4.00pm, Monday-Friday)
Text:07903 200 200
Minicom service:0845 070 4003
Email enquiry service:visit www.autism.org.uk/enquiry and complete the online form

The Autism Helpline provides impartial, confidential information, advice and support for people with autism spectrum disorders, their families, professionals, researchers, and students.

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