Autism and Driving: Does Your Child’s IEP Include the Essentials?

One third of students with autism without intellectual disability earn a driver’s license. Yet, many of these students will never have Transition IEP goals to address all of the life skills needed around driving.

Wonder what some of the skills are?

How to interact with a police officer.

Due to impaired communication abilities, some students with autism may have a difficult time , understanding directions or responding to questions. Additionally, some students can become agitated. All of these behaviors have the potential of being misinterpreted by an officer and their behavior can seem like refusal to cooperate or intentionally not following instructions. This can potentially lead to an altercation. Without appropriate life skills, driving can put many students with autism at great risk when interacting with police officers.


Passing the written driving test.

Just like other subjects, varying levels of academic support may need to be provided to students like pre-teaching unfamiliar vocabulary.

What to do in a car accident.

Exchanging all the right information with the other driver, taking photos and calling the police are just some of the life skills needed when involved in a car accident.

And then there’s car loan payments, vehicle insurance, taxes, maintenance and more. All of these are must-have life skills that are part and parcel of owning or driving a car.

To learn more about essential life skills for students with autism transitioning to adulthood, visit The Life Skills Lady