question for y'all: driving


Anonymous said to :

I want some information about people with autism and driving. Google helps me with NOTHING about info from actual autistic people, of whatever age and driving level, on their experiences. -.- as usual
realsocialskills said:
I don’t…

chavisory said:

I haven’t driven in a long time, but I can, I was good at it, and I enjoyed it.

The best I can probably say is to start slow, and get a lot of practice in relatively easy/safe areas–parking lots, long straight country roads, low speed limit neighborhoods, places like that.  

You can’t learn to drive by trial and error, no, but you can build up your comfort with it very, very gradually.  You probably need a teacher who is non-judgmental and above all, calm.  The kinds of perception and judgment you need will likely gradually improve with practice…like they do for any new activity.

I seriously doubted that I had the kinds of coordination necessary to drive, but you learn the rhythm of it.  There’s a mental “zone” to it.

realsocialskills said:

I did learn the rhythm of it eventually, but it was so exhausting to hold together that it pushed me into shutdown. I might make more attempts at some point, though.

question for y'all: driving



Anonymous said to :

I want some information about people with autism and driving. Google helps me with NOTHING about info from actual autistic people, of whatever age and driving level, on their experiences. -.- as usual
realsocialskills said:
I don’t drive, because thus far I have not figured out a way to do it safely. I have unreliable motor skills and weak spatial reasoning and poor executive function. These have all caused me trouble in my various attempts to learn to drive safely. I think I probably could learn to compensate for this kind of impairment with sufficient support, but I don’t want to learn driving through trial and error because error could involve crashing cars and killing people.
Have any of y’all who’re autistic or otherwise disabled learned to drive safely? How?

fire-gender said:

I drive, and well, but the way my autism works out and my long history of playing video games and being a professional artist my hand-eye is very good/I’m very attentive/ect ect. I very much second the suggestion elsewhere to play racing games, my drivers ed teacher was actually a really strong supporter of those. I did initially have a lot of problems with other cars on the road, but for two years before getting a car/actually driving I started up urban biking and that helped soooo much, and by the time I started driving again after seven years it was really easy. But that’s a whole other can of worms.

Disability Parking Space Abuse


Blue Badge Blues reblogged from http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/

Blue Badge Blues

I’d like to show you some tweets. I’ve provided a screenshot as they have now been deleted.

Tweets boasting about stealing disabled parking bays

The text of these tweets reads

“The dirty looks you get for parking in a disabled bay :D :D ”

“Like there’s not 1000 empty disabled bats and only 1 normal space the other end of the car park “

After a few people noticed these tweets and tweeted their objections (Six replies) she then tweeted

“The spam I just got in my feed about parking in a disabled bay is too jokes :D :D :D :D ”

“These people are protective over their bays loool”

The tweets were then deleted an hour later.

This isn’t a rare occurrence. An awful lot of people think that they should have the right to park in parking bays reserved for disabled people. People like George OsborneNigel Farage and Worcester police. Often people think it’s OK to park in a disabled parking bay late at night as though disabled people aren’t allowed out at night, or they think it’s OK because they’re “only going to be a minute” or because “they’ll move if anyone needs it”. Some people just don’t care, and in fact feel so entitled to park where they like that they issue death threats.

It’s not OK though. Those bays exist for very good reasons. They are for people who struggle to walk and need to park close to the shop because otherwise they may be in pain as a result of walking, or maybe they can’t get that far at all. They are for people with chronic illnesses who will be exhausted after that short walk. They are for people who use wheelchairs and need the marked space around the bay to open their doors enough to get the wheelchair out. They are for people whose joints don’t bend much and who can’t contort themselves to fit through a door that only opens as far as the next car in a standard space. And don’t think that someone in a wheelchair will have no problem with going further – plenty of people cannot self-propel in a wheelchair any further than they can walk because of pain or being prone to dislocations or fractures.

Disabled people need those reserved parking spaces to help them overcome the barriers between them and a normal, equal life. You may be able to walk from the other end of the car park, even if it’s a bit far, a bit tiring, and maybe your legs hurt because you’re not used to exercise. For people who qualify for a blue badge, walking from the other end of the car park is a distant dream. If the choice is between park at the other end or not go into the shop, they probably can’t go into the shop.

“I’ll only be a minute”

This is probably the most common excuse. It’s not an excuse though. Don’t do it. In that “minute” which will probably actually be five or ten minutes, a disabled person may have arrived, been unable to park, had no idea how long you would be and then turned around and gone home. They might not have been able to stop and wait because of traffic. They may well not have the energy or be in too much pain to return very quickly.  Or maybe they parked in a standard space much further away, then hurt themselves by trying to walk that much further.

“I’ll move if someone needs it”

This seems like a reasonable excuse, especially if waiting in the car. Again, it’s not an excuse for a number of reasons. First of all, the person that needs the space might not see you waiting in the car to ask. If the driver is not with the car then the disabled person won’t know that they would move it, and they probably can’t park to go and find the driver to ask them. Sometimes they could send a bystander to ask them, but that has variable results.

There’s also the strong possibility of getting verbally or physically attacked just for asking someone to move. This happens, and it happens a lot. How is someone to know whether you will turn out to be nasty or nice?

“There’s loads of spaces”

This excuse tends to happen most at night and it’s possibly the least-bad. It is often true that there are lots of spaces at supermarkets. But take a look at how far those spaces are from the door. The distance from shop to space might be twenty metres for the closes one, but it could be a hundred metres or more for the farthest space. Unfortunately the people who use this excuse tend to park in the closest space to the shop and at my local Tesco it’s not uncommon for the first ten spaces to be filled with cars with no blue badge on display if I go there at 10pm. (Which I do a lot because my illness messes up my sleeping pattern.) The person using this excuse also has no idea how many people might need to park before they return. If lots turn up, they’ll be parking much further away.

Then there’s the unthinking shops that leave stuff in the disabled parking bays.

Or even put more permanent things in those bays.

This video explains why people need disabled parking bays.

I’ll leave you with some thoughts from @FunnyGrrrl

I recommend that all Blue Badge holders follow this example and tweet the owner of the car park using the hashtag #GiveUsSomeSpace whenever they are unable to park in the disabled parking bay.