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  1. #1
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default DRIVING and ADHD

    Dr Amen, prominent ADHD physician recommends against kids with ADHD driving at age 16. I wonder what your feelings are on this?

    Personally it feels prudent to me. We have a couple of additional things that make driving seem difficult to me. DS1 also has type 1 diabetes and low blood sugars can affect driving ability AND DS1s school requires a harrowing freeway drive up (and later down) a huge grade. I donít want to hamper DS1s skills and independence either though. Iím thinking he gets his permit and we drive together for a really long time and then even if he gets his license he still drives only locally (not to school).

    Iím interested in the boards feelings about driving!

  2. #2
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    I guess it depends on the type of adhd and how it is managed. For my DS with adhd, my main concern would be impulsivity. When heís on meds, heís pretty good at keeping track of details. Fortunately he wonít be old enough to drive for a while. But here in Iowa kids can get a school license at 14.5 (yes, they can drive to/from school and school activities at 14.5 ).


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  3. #3
    NCGrandma is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiegirl View Post
    But here in Iowa kids can get a school license at 14.5 (yes, they can drive to/from school and school activities at 14.5 ).

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    You mean a 14.5 y.o. can drive ALONE to/from school?! Iím already uneasy about the fact that almost-15-y.o. DGD1 can get a learners permit next year at 16 and an unrestricted license at 17... The idea that she could have been driving herself to school for the past 6 months boggles my mind.


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  4. #4
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    Default DRIVING and ADHD

    Quote Originally Posted by NCGrandma View Post
    You mean a 14.5 y.o. can drive ALONE to/from school?! Iím already uneasy about the fact that almost-15-y.o. DGD1 can get a learners permit next year at 16 and an unrestricted license at 17... The idea that she could have been driving herself to school for the past 6 months boggles my mind.


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    Yes! Kids can get their permits at 14. They are eligible for a student license once theyíve had their permit for 6 mo and have passed a driving class. Iím not worried about DD (13), but my boys are, well, typical boys.

    What really excites me about the school permit is that DD will be able to drive herself to early morning swim practice once sheís in high school (but only for the high school team, not club)

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  5. #5
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    DS has ADD, so not impulsive but tracking is hard. He also has anxiety (medicated for this) and is a VERY anxious driver. Due to a late birthday and being held back a year, he was 15 in 8th grade. There was no way he was getting his learners permit in 8th grade. He got it at the end of 8th, when he was closer to 16. He took drivers ed in the summer--2 week didactic. Then you have to drive with your parents for 14 hours, then you do driving with an instructor. (this all seems very backwards to me! When I took drivers ed, you drove solely with an instructor and took didactic. At the end, you got a permit that let you drive by yourself during the day only for a year--I was 15. You could drive at 14 if you lived in a rural area--to/from school/work)

    It has taken us a year to get all the driving in to get his license. He will hopefully get his license this month. He has driven on the freeway here a few times. Its much worse than the freeway where I learned. For the first few months, he will only be driving to/from school and basically within a 3 mile "bubble" from our house and only on local streets. As he gets more comfortable, we will expand that and he has to learn to drive at night confidently. His anxiety is much more of an issue than his ADD.

    DD will be a different story. Not anxious, no ADD. She will be fine. So it depends on the kid. But my DS is only ready to drive in a small local area at age 16. (and they can only have family members in the car--no friends for a year)
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  6. #6
    hbridge is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    I’m thinking he gets his permit and we drive together for a really long time and then even if he gets his license he still drives only locally (not to school).
    This is my plan! My plan is to get the permit ASAP (if for nothing else, the kid needs identification) and then take our time teaching DC how to drive. We have started talking about the rules of the road and when DC started riding a bike at 6, we started pre-driving on "bike paths". It was enlightening as to what needed to be explicitly taught and/or discussed. For example, if something happens, you need to pull the bike (or car) to the side of the "road" and come to a stop, NOT freak out and swerve into incoming traffic!

    I hope that DC will be comfortable enough to drive to school by Senior Year, but it's a distance.

    It's a difficult thing to figure out.

  7. #7
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    We have to drive with DS for a year, then he gets his license. So permit first, then license.
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    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  8. #8
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    My middle is ADHD, but Innattentive only. I do worry about his focus when the time comes. He’s also a very cautious kid, which may not actually be great if he gets too nervous. Permits are 15 here, restricted license at 16. My plan for now is to get his permit at 15 and use the driving school run by cops. Then play it by ear when he seems ready for a license and when I feel he’s ready for each next step. No reason not to get the permit and spend as much time as needed learning. Really, that’s our plan for DS1 too (he can get his permit in Nov) but I’m not really as worried about him (not any more than any other teen...so I will worry because that’s what we do, but he’s focused and mature and doesn’t give me extra reasons).
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  9. #9
    gymnbomb is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    I’m thinking he gets his permit and we drive together for a really long time and then even if he gets his license he still drives only locally (not to school).

    I’m interested in the boards feelings about driving!
    I do not have experience with ADHD, but I think this is a good plan. I think you need to think about what his situation will be like a couple of years later, at age 18-19. Where will he be living, and what will he be responsible for? The plan at age 15-16 needs to be building toward that (and I know you do!)

    Personally I didn't really want to learn to drive when I turned 15 (in a state where you could get a learners permit at 14 and a restricted license to drive alone to school and work at 15, though my family's minimum was 15 for a permit). My Mom said that if I wanted to have a car when I went to college 2 years later, I needed to learn how to drive. She was not going to send me off alone with a car if I didn't have a couple of years of driving experience, and in retrospect I think that was very smart of her.
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  10. #10
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default DRIVING and ADHD

    I think getting the permit then taking as long as he needs, is a good plan. But make sure he gets LOTS of driving time. I didnít get time in the car as my mum wasnít comfortable teaching me and dad was away for work. It took me a couple of years until I felt confident to take my test. SIL made DN drive everywhere when she got her permit and I think that really helps all kids. Our traffic is a nightmare, but other kids learn how to drive, and DS will too.


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    Last edited by niccig; 06-11-2019 at 04:52 PM.

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