Learning To Drive With Learning Difficulties
I have received and continue to receive, all the finest driving instructor training to ensure the highest standards of driving lessons in Guildford tuition is passed on to you the student. I receive regular updates on all driving instructor teaching techniques along with driving lesson planning. I am kept up to date on all aspects of driver training which I find invaluable when teaching all my students with Learning Difficulties in Guildford.
I have been (CRB) Criminal Records Bureau checked and I have passed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. To make sure that I am in accordance with the (DVSA) Driving Vehicle Standards Agency They search my details against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer. I undergo regular assessments to enforce my promise to you that I am providing a service that is second to none. I have also under gone a mandatory DVSA Check test.
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If you suffer with any learning difficulties Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or ADHD and want to learn to drive then.
Then I can offer you driving lessons to suit you and your individual needs.
I will still follow the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) syllabus for teaching. Learning to drive while learning with learning difficulties can be a very daunting feeling, however with the right approach and my firsthand experience of teaching pupils with these conditions the learning process can be made a lot less stressful and become fun and then enjoyment.
Throughout your individual ‘journey’ in learning to drive, aspects of dyslexia, Dyspraxia or ADHD should be positively looked for in order to provide the required support. Many adults do not know they are dyslexic or have any learning difficulties as it was not identified when they were at school. Comments by Rod Nicholson were interpreted as suggesting that dyslexics were bad drivers. This is NOT correct. It takes some dyslexics longer to develop automaticity in tasks such as driving. They may have to concentrate harder. They may not be able to talk with a passenger at the same time as driving.
Other Dyslexic or Dyspraxia difficulties which may impact on learning to drive include:
Weak short term and working memory.
Auditory processing: taking on board what is being said quickly.
Difficulty with focusing easily distracted.
Difficulty identifying left from right.
Visual distraction, visual memory issues.
Slower processing speed in the brain.
Sequencing problems: getting information in the right order.
Pupils with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or ADHD may have a significant effect on learning but with my appropriate teaching, multi sensory learning this can be mitigated and most pupils go on to become very good drivers.
They say it may take the dyslexic or dyspraxia pupil longer to learn to drive and they may need more than one attempt to pass the practical driving test? it is NOT always the case with me. I have helped lots of pupils with learning difficulties who have passed first time. The key is to use multi sensory learning and to ensure that new information or skills are heavily embedded. For example, if someone has poor visual memory, then use their auditory or tactile memory to compensate. They are likely to need lots of reinforcement to embed learning from the short term memory but most dyslexic people have excellent long term memories so they need to be able to make use of this while learning to drive.
The British Dyslexia Association recommends pupils should practice off-road or on quiet roads as much as possible so that the dyslexic learner is not distracted by other road users, while getting to grips with basic car handling.
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I will make sure the learner is not overloaded with instructions as this causes real problems for those with a weaker working memory; little and often is a good mantra. I will watch out for those with weak spatial awareness or lack of recognition of left and right: – they may need to be told to go ‘your way’, or ‘my way’. We will ask the learner how they learn best and follow their preferences. For helping an individual to memorise something, get them to suggest a memory peg such as a rhyme or a picture they can visualise, or something very zany; all this helps make the memory more memorable.
I have lots of very good tips to help pupils with learning difficulties learn safely.
Before the lesson begins, we will discuss what the lesson will cover.
I will NOT give too many instructions at once:
I will only give one instruction at one time if possible.
I will use coloured stickers on the dashboard to indicate left and right.
I will use hand movements to indicate which way to turn.
I will use the same route for a while until the driver feels more confident.
I will only add new routes a few at a time.
I will make sure the Examiner knows that the candidate has learning difficulties ie: dyslexic, dyspraxia or ADHD. We will let them know if they have special requirements to help them with the test.
Dyslexic people often find it difficult to envisage space, so overall strategy is don’t think: feel small, smooth movements of the wheel, rather than spinning the steering wheel. I will get them to hold the wheel as if handlebars: this avoids frantic spinning and over steering. I will practise steering by driving slowly along a curved line. I will make sure they pause between movements to do observations: this helps keep control. I will ask them to talk movements out aloud.
How I Can Help You With The Independent Driving Section Of Your Driving Test.
Following discussions between the BDA and the DVSA, examiners will offer adjustments to dyslexic candidates. These will depend on the particular difficulties the dyslexic person has, as all are different. So examiners will be asking the candidate what adjustments they require. These will include: Asking the person’s preference for verbal directions or for following signs during the independent driving section. Showing a simple diagram before the independent driving section; this will be reproduced on cream vellum paper which cuts down on visual distraction. If helpful, adding visual clues to the diagram, such as a supermarket or petrol station on route, or telling the candidate the number of the exit point on roundabouts.
Continuing to give directions singly throughout the driving test, and for the independent driving section, giving no more than two directions at a time. Adapting directions from right and left to ‘your side, my side’ or whatever system the candidate prefers. Using landmarks such as ‘take the first left, it’s just past the cinema’.
Examiners are there to assess the person’s ability to drive safely not their ability to remember directions. If the candidate needs to check with the examiner that they are going the right way, they can do so. DVSA has confirmed that driving examiners conduct thousands of driving tests every year and are very experienced and skilled in dealing with candidates with all sorts of special needs. They are also very aware that they will make every effort to put all candidates at ease.
The British Dyslexia Association recommends practice off-road or on quiet roads as much as possible so that the dyslexic learner is not distracted by other road users, while getting to grips with basic car handling.
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