Could I ever drive?

Learning to drive, driving, and using public transport

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Could I ever drive?

Post by Rummur »

I read some posts on here but I'm very confused. I am not the best with spacial awareness, I sometimes look at gaps thinking the car couldn't fit through there but then it does perfectly. I wonder how people can maneuver around roundabouts and I even worry that I wouldn't know what side of the road to drive on! (I know the driver is always in the middle of the road, passenger on the pavement side) My mum has been driving for 20+ years and she is brilliant at it but she can't park at all. My friends who drive say that you can learn to judge distance and you learn all these things that involve driving a car. But me being dyspraxic, I don't know if it's possible for me to learn. I would always be cautious, never speed or pull out without checking carefully (I know you can't dawdle but better safe than sorry pulling out infront of cars that aren't far away). I'm still trying to accept that I can't achieve my dreams but seeing the posts on here, I just wondered if it is possible to be a good, safe driver.

Tom fod
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Re: Could I ever drive?

Post by Tom fod »

There are plenty of non dyspraxic people who have passed the driving test who do dangerously stupid things when behind the steering wheel. If there are no serious or medical reasons to prevent you and you have the opportunity and cash to spare, it is a useful skill to try to acquire. Key to this is finding a driving instructor who you can work with. It is very much an instinctive thing but you do need to be aware of where you are in relation to other road users and pedestrians and be able to try to anticipate their potential actions and react accordingly.

Until it is legal/practical to use binoculars to pick out number plates at 20m I''ll continue to use public transport or walk. It's a pain and the fact that it limits opportunities does make me feel quite sad sometimes, but if I reframe it cars are expensive so in terms of my bank balance and green credentials I will usually win on points. Be interesting to see if driverless cars ever become a reality.

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

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Re: Could I ever drive?

Post by nickye »

Hi Rummur

Welcome to the forum, and sorry to see from your other posts that you're having a bit of a hard time at the moment. It sounds like you're very hard on yourself - but please don't take that as a criticism, because I can feel exactly the same! I think all this positive thinking, where people say you can achieve anything, can sometimes be a bit disheartening. Personally, I think there's a middle ground between being madly optimistic like that, and being overly hard on yourself. Trying to find it isn't easy. But I try to look at it this way. Everyone, with or without dyspraxia or disabilities, has some limits on what they can do for various reasons. Not everyone learns at the same pace, and sometimes you can do the same things as others and it takes longer. Sometimes I say to myself that I won't do things if I feel it's too much for me, and not to beat myself up about it.

It took me three years to learn to drive. At the time I had no idea why I couoldn't get to grips to judging distances and turning the wheel back when I'd steered round a corner, but I did get there in the end. I think I would have learned quicker if I'd had someone who knew about dyspraxia, but I never even knew about it myself so couldn't have asked for help. (This was back in the 1980s and I'm now in my 40s). I just used to think I was a bit stupid (!) - sorry I know I shouldn't say that really, but that's how I felt. I used to always be last at PE, had no idea how to catch a ball, and couldn't tie my shoelaces or ride a bike for ages.

Sometimes I think I spent too much time worrying about the things I couldn't do and not enough time on the things I can do well. However it is difficutl struggling with everyday things. I think the dyspraxia Foundation help line would be good to contact, and see if there is a local group in your area. The NHS doesn't always seem to know much about it, but some areas are probably better than others. Sometimes I find I need things broken down step by step, and it might take longer, but that doesn't necessarily mean tha tyou can't get there in the end.

I wish you luck, if you do decide to learn to tdrive. It would be worth googling driving instructors who know about dyspraxia, because they are out there. There is more awareness now.

Sorry this is long, but I must just tell you something else. I've always struggled with slip roads, although I'm confident generally ddriving now. I just don't like motorways much. But two years ago my husband had a seizure while we were on holiday in France and I managed to drive back on the French motorways (although he helped me a lot with directions - luckily he was well enough by then to come home but not allowed to drive). I spent the next year doing all the driving,which at times was a bit difficult, but I did do it. Sometimes we don't know what we can do til we do it. It's not a case of saying anyone can do anything, but on the other hands don't limit yourself before you've started. That is my advice, but I don't want to talk down to you, as I know how depressing it can be to feel that you're different ot other people. The worst thing to me is that often people don't really believe you have difficulties, they just see it as purely a lack of confidence.

Anyway, good luck with the future, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Since I've been on this site I realise there are lots of people out there with similar difficulties, and they're great at helping and supporting each other.


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Re: Could I ever drive?

Post by screengreen »

Took me years and countless lessons to learn to drive, one tip that seemed to help me with judging distance (when some of the over stuff is ałready learned) is to count how long it took to cross a road turn right etc. This some how linked the space and time element may or may not help, but it helped me!

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Re: Could I ever drive?

Post by DanTheOutlaw »

I passed on my first time but that doesn't mean it was anything but luck because that's all it was. Even now, 2 years in I avoid certain situations, it's really apparent now how bad a driver I am on certain roads as I've just moved to Glasgow and the roads are really something to be feared here.

I struggle with massive, laney roundabouts where you're expected to know what directions (N,E,S,W) and the exact name of the road you're supposed to be getting on and I struggle with big massive junctions where the traffic meets opposite each other in the middle and turn right. I often clip the curb when pulling in and I don't even attempt parallel or reverse parking because I'd be there all day. All things considered though I'm pretty good for somebody who has dyspraxia.

Because I put so much extra thought into what I'm doing on the roads due to my dyspaxia it has benefits for example I'm less likely to forget my indicating and I never lose concentration because I'm never 100% comfortable with my surroundings.

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Re: Could I ever drive?

Post by maia »

Learn now while you're young (i'm assuming) - learning takes 20 hours at age 20 plus another 20 for every additional 10 years of age, they say - i'd back it up - and at £20+ an hour, it's beyond expensive to learn when you're old, it would cost me almost a year's basic salary, so now i live in the countryside under 6pm curfew - last bus back to the village - while all social activities not aimed at pensioners are after 7.30 in nearby towns. I've met some nice 70-90 year olds in the last few years, a lot of whom have died - not fun. Just fail and fail and waste money and eat pain and finally pass.

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