Transportation for Autistic Persons

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Teams must reduce or eliminate fear of their students and of their condition. Adults can and must learn not to overreact to the student's outbursts or behavior management challenges on the special needs bus.
Ray Turner
Don't start at a major airport for either end of the trip if you can. Use a smaller airport, as you'll have to stand in line less, wait less for the plane, and, overall, be around people much less. Sadly, this isn't always an easy thing to do, especially if you already have tickets. I always try to fly out of very small airports. Today, with the increased security measures, starting at a small airport can save you significant time.
Joel Smith
What may be a problem is the ability to judge what other road users, pedestrians, animals etc might do and how this should affect their own driving; understanding that not all drivers and other road users obey all of the rules all of the time; road rage.
Don't be pressured into making him drive too soon. The fact that he is hesitating may mean that he is not ready to drive quite yet. And a one-ton vehicle is quite different from a mountain bike in terms of speed, mobility, and skills required (not to mention the potential for causing injury to oneself or others).
Carol Gray
How fast you pick up driving often has nothing at all to do with your intelligence in other things. Some real dimwits are still able to drive in as few as five lessons whereas some really intelligent people can need as many as fifty lessons.
Marc Segar
Driving a vehicle or operating a piece of machinery only requires alertness to the surroundings, and the ability to react to situations. There is not a lot of abstract reasoning involved, and everything is common sense related.
Autistic students do not respond normally to their surroundings. Moving in front of autistic passengers to make eye contact with them, smiling at them or talking to them on the bus generate no response from them.
Visit teachers and talk to parents. Find out what incidents may upset the student, how to tell when the student is upset, what he or she will do if upset and the best way to manage the student's behavior.
Iowa Department of Education
Establish a bus routine and stick to it. Assign seats and position each autistic student to better assure that no harm will come to them or others. Avoid bus route and service changes. Simple terms work best when communicating.
Ray Turner
The internet links below connect to sections of a travel curriculum for teaching independence to students who have navigational disabilities. There are centers in the brain responsible for understanding and moving efficiently through space. This navigation system is independent of the vision system. There are strong neural connections with all the senses, but navigation ability can be selectively impaired by damage to specific brain regions (for example, the hippocampus, or the right parietal lobe). It is obvious that navigating efficiently and safely is a challenge for blind and visually impaired children. However, the navigation problems of other children in special education are not always apparent. Mobility specialists need to address the travel disabilities of all children in special education.
Doug Baldwin, Deborah Parker, Saginaw School District
Transport adaptation to this particular group of children with disabilities refers merely to implementation of knowledge and a specific, well structured approach among the drivers towards the children during the ride, rather than to mechanical adaptation.
Nordic Road and Transport Research
Current guidelines for the protection of children with specific health care needs, including those with a tracheostomy, a spica cast, challenging behaviors, or muscle tone abnormalities as well as those transported in wheelchairs.
Committee on Injury, Poison Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics
This Transition Summary focuses upon training people with disabilities to use public transportation safely and independently. This Transition Summary was written for people who live in communities which have some form of public transportation. The following articles describe the essential components of a successful travel training program, the specific skills that travelers need to have in place to assure safe and independent travel, and the issues that arise with specific disabilities such as physical, cognitive, and visual impairments. An overview of the ADA, as it relates to transportation, is also provided. This Transition Summary concludes with a listing of resources of further information including resources for people living in small and/or rural communities.
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
I have been driving since I was 19. I failed the driving part of the test six times and burned out two drivers' education instructors getting there, because I didn't have some of the automatic reflexes my instructors wee expecting. But, once I learned to consciously think about all of the right details—most of which other people handle reflexively—I passed the test. Since then, I have driven for more than 30 years with only three minor accidents and three traffic tickets. I have had no accidents or tickets in the last seven years.
Ian Johnson

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