“I knew hardly anything about driving, ” said 21-year-old Ashley. Ashley wanted to drive, but with her learning disability and anxiety, she and her mom were concerned about learning to drive and obtaining a license. “I hoped that we wouldn’t go through this process just to discover that because of Ashley’s disability, she might not be able to get her license. That would have been heart breaking,” said Ashley’s mom Lisa.
Ashley worked with Suzanne Pritchard – one of our certified driver rehabilitation specialists / occupational therapists. “At first, I was concerned about Ashley’s ability to react to multiple situations that can occur on the road at the same time. Driving is a very big deal with really high consequences,” said Suzanne.
Suzanne and Ashley worked together for six months. Ashley’s great attitude, high motivation level and maturity level, along with tremendous family support from her mother during many, many practice sessions, all contributed to a successful outcome – her driver’s license and her first solo drive to a restaurant. “I was so happy; I was just on cloud nine,” said Ashley.
Learning with a disability can present challenges, but sometimes it just takes a different approach to reach goals. At Easterseals Crossroads, we know how the ability to drive – or to keep driving – can affect independence. Suzanne works with first-time drivers like Ashley, previous drivers who have had a physical change and older drivers who present age-related changes where safety on the road is a key factor.
View Ashley’s story