How a man on the Spectrum learns to live

Driving Lessons

Hello again!

I was jotting down my thoughts on Thursday, the 22nd of April when I remembered the strangest thing: my driving lessons.  I thought to myself, “why is this so important now?”  Well, the truth is that when I started writing this blog and learning about what it takes to put one together, it felt like the 1st time I ever drove a car, which, believe it or not, wasn’t until I turned 21!

You see, I used to be petrified of driving.  I think the reason was that I was so afraid of losing control and becoming too much like my Dad (He tends to drive offensively!  Which is something that I agree to disagree with him on.)  Looking back on it now, I remember experiencing many close calls as a passenger in my dad’s car.

In my Aspie brain, those close calls were so jarring and unsettling that I was traumatized about going through the rite of passage of a teenager learning to drive and getting their first car.  What also made matters worse was my very obvious lack of coordination which is a common characteristic in aspies.  Children born on the spectrum can be expected to develop life skills at a slower rate than their neurotypical peers.  Unfortunately, the pressures of our image-conscious, often judgemental society attach a stigma to those children and their families, who might cave into that pressure with disastrous results!

However, I eventually realized that the need, as well as the motivation to learn such life skills, had to start inside of me.  It was not until I turned 21, after nearly three years of being at the mercy of unreliable public transit schedules, that I knew I had to stop being afraid of the learning process, and just gather up the courage to tell my parents I was ready to learn.

On day one, it was obvious the learning process wasn’t going to be easy, but then again, learning vital skills for living is also hard for neurotypical children as well; can you imagine what it’s like for someone born on the spectrum?  Initially, I was afraid to get on the freeways; driving at night seemed like a daunting challenge, and even rough weather would make me extremely nervous.

The point I’m making is that starting a blog feels a lot like driving lessons.  At 1st I was nervous about how to do the basics, but I realize that the more I practice, the more my writing will become 2nd nature, just like when I learned how to drive.  You know, not knowing is not an excuse to not try, and unfortunately, I’ve used it too many times in my life.  If I am ever to become comfortable with this line of communication, I need to trust the process as much as I did while learning to drive.

Learning to drive is something to be proud of, just like this blog.


Comments on: "Driving Lessons" (1)

  1. laura carter said:

    Hi Tony, I love this and it makes me think back to times I have also been anxious about trying new things and situations that have been traumatizing. It reminds me of a couple of my favorite quotes that I think you are already familiar with…

    “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about CREATING YOURSELF.” author unknown
    “Dare to be Remarkable” Jane Gentry

    You are REMARKABLE and the way you communicate let’s peeps know they can also be remarkable.

    You rock my friend xo

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