Can You Learn to Drive with Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia (AKA Developmental Coordination Disorder or DCD) hit the headlines recently, when an MP blamed the condition for missing an election vote. Some people questioned whether it was a valid reason or simply and excuse. But anyone living with the condition will know just how much it can impact various parts of life. It’s not just being a little bit clumsy or uncoordinated. It’s a neurotype that can impact your ability to use information from the senses to plan, adapt and control movements. All of which are relevant to learning a new skill, such as driving. So, can you learn to drive when you have dyspraxia?

Things You Need to Know About Learning to Drive with Dyspraxia

Does the DVSA have rules about dyspraxia?

The first concern is whether or not you are legally allowed to learn to drive with dyspraxia. And the answer to that, is yes. The DVSA lists all health conditions believed to impact driving, and DCD is not currently on that list. That may change in the future, but right now, those with dyspraxia face no driving restrictions.

So, dyspraxia shouldn’t stop me driving?

Every person is different. So, although roughly 10% of the population is recognised as having dyspraxia, it impacts them all in slightly different ways. As a general rule, dyspraxia won’t stop you from learning to drive. But there is a good chance that it may make it harder for you. And that the learning process may take longer. It depends on exactly how dyspraxia manifests in you.

How will dyspraxia impact my ability to learn to drive?

There are a range of traits within dyspraxia that can have an effect on your ability to learn to drive. To start with, there’s the general difficulty of learning new skills. Then, you may find that hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness difficulties cause you problems during the practical aspects of learning to drive.  Along with poor concentration issues, fatigue, and problems following directions.

During your theory test, you may also find that visual comprehension, short term memory, and again concentration may make things more difficult for you.

None of this means that you can’t learn to drive. It just means that you should probably be prepared for the fact that you might need more driving lessons than your mates.

Is there anything I can do to make learning to drive with dyspraxia easier?

The first thing is, if you have a DCD diagnosis, you’ll have lived with dyspraxia your entire life. That means that you’ll already be very familiar with your own strengths and weaknesses. And you can use this knowledge to help prepare yourself for your driving lessons.

So, if short term memory is an issue, you might want to consider an intensive driving course. If you find skills acquisition more difficult, be kind to yourself and give yourself plenty of time to learn, removing all targets and deadlines. And if you think that the actual act of driving may just be too demanding, consider working towards an automatic license, rather than a manual. It just gives you one less thing to think about.

Also, don’t forget to talk to your instructor before you start driving. If you let them know where you have difficulties, a good instructor will work to help you find solutions.

Dyspraxia can be an inconvenience. But you already know that it’s not the end of the world. You’ve come this far, and you’ve found your own workarounds. When learning to drive, you just have to find a few more! It may take time, but you’ll get there in the end.

Are you looking for driving lessons in the West Midlands? Get in touch with DGN.  

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Thomas Baugh

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