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December 10, 2015

Driver's Education for Those Behind the Wheel With ADHD

Behind_the_wheel_with_ADHD-app-iconHave you heard the studies that show that teen drivers with ADHD are four times more likely to be in a car accident than their peers who do not struggle with executive-function impairments?

Behind the Wheel With ADHD provides driving instructors with additional training to understand the risks associated with ADHD and teen driving. Instructors are trained in the use of new tools, technologies, and strategies designed to help teens with ADHD learn to drive more safely. This may be welcome news to their loved ones, many of whom are aware of the higher incidence of car accidents among young drivers with ADHD.

Distracted_teen_driver-iStock_000025643626-NobiliorAccording to Behind the Wheel statistics, automobile accidents are more common among those with ADHD and are usually associated with a higher rate of fatality. Several research studies have shown that, compared to other teens, teenage drivers with ADHD:

• are more likely to have received repeated traffic citations, most notably for speeding.
• sustain three times as many car crash injuries as teens without ADHD.
• are less likely to be practicing sound driving habits in their current driving performance, as reported by their parents.
• are nearly four times more likely to have had an accident while they were the driver of a vehicle.
• are found to be at fault for car crashes four times more often than peers without ADHD.
• are six to eight times more likely to have their license suspended or revoked for poor driving behavior.
• are more likely to have driven an automobile without adult supervision prior to becoming a licensed driver.

Distracted_teen_driver-iStock_000060487526-GetUpStudioBehind the Wheel With ADHD is a comprehensive program that offers both seminar participation and personal coaching. Included among the seminar topics are:

• an overview of effective external tools that help teens compensate for executive function challenges when driving;
• strategies for effectively managing medication; empowering young drivers on ways to successfully handle encounters with police officers;
• an overview of the newest technologies for neutralizing risks associated with texting, cell phone use, or other potential driving related distractions; and instruction on how young drivers can develop a set of routines that can eliminate many of the risks associated with executive function challenges/ADHD and driving.

The program highlights an enhanced Graduated Driver's License program offering specific recommendations to improve strategic competencies associated with driving skill. This is more effective than the GDL currently being used in many states, with enhanced instruction for young drivers with ADHD and/or executive function challenges. Instruction is also provided on how to effectively reduce the effects of peer pressure or other peer-related influences when behind the wheel.

Behind_the_wheel_with_ADHD-appAs part of the education program, a monthly live 90-minute webinar is available for parents, sponsored by the Edge Foundation, a not for profit organization whose mission is to bring support to those who are non-traditional learners and those who struggle with ADHD and other related challenges. Please visit the Edge Foundation to learn more about the monthly webinar. You are also encouraged to contact Gayle or Ann directly either by e-mail or phone: 630-674-2738.

Another feature of the program is an app specifically designed for use by the novice teen driver and his/her parents. It offers an efficient way for the novice driver to efficiently attend to all the tasks required on a comprehensive pre-trip checklist. This is an important part of planning a safe trip for anyone, but especially teens with ADHD who may forget many of the planning details. Parents are also provided a matching smart phone application that provides immediate feedback regarding their teen's pre-trip routine and the teen's arrival at the destination. The app can be downloaded at the Google Play store, or at the iPhone App Store.

Behind the Wheel With ADHD is the brainchild of Gayle Sweeney and Ann Shanahan, both ADHD coaches who work extensively with teens, college students, and young adults. The program is currently available to any privately owned driving school or any public, private, or parochial school that offers driver's education.

Behind_the_wheel_with_ADHD-bookAs part of the training and certification program, instructors also receive a written training manual that serves as a resource guide to effective tools, technologies, and strategies covered during the seminar and coaching sessions. The training manual is continually updated to include new advances in the field. Instructors wishing to pursue more advanced training can do so and earn certification as a Behind the Wheel With ADHD certified instructor.

Parents wishing to enroll their teen in a driver education program offering this specialized training should check the program's list of Certified Driving Schools or contact their local school or driving school and request that they contact Gayle or Ann to arrange for the training and certification. Visitors to the website are encouraged to subscribe to the free blog, where updates are sent directly to their inbox.


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