The following are skill that could be targeted prior to your child enrolling in driver’s education training or getting their learning permit.
Finding your way around town using GPS
- Can your child find a desired location on a smart phone and/or GPS system?
- Can they use the information to get directions to that location?
- Can they direct you to preferred locations? With all the electronics in the cars today, many kids never look out the window and thus can not even direct a parent to their local school or favorite restaurant.
- Can you child get in and out on both sides of the car?
- Can your child take off and put on the wheels to their chair?
- Can they lift the chair base over their body to set it on the seat next to them? Or can they twist around to put it in a seat behind them? Or will they need a lift system?
- Can the child tell you how to take off or put on the wheels, fold the seat or lock the brakes on their own chair?
Using a Soft Touch
- Pushing a lever for gas takes a soft touch. It’s called midrange control. If one of your child’s weaknesses is controlling force, you may want to practice midrange control tasks prior to your child driving. Remote control vehicles, The game called Monkey’s Hanging, Lining up dominoes to form a train, The Topple Game by Pressman Toy, and the Book Penny Games by Klutz Press are all good ideas to work on soft touch. Of course many on-line and electronic games at your phone’s app store require the child to use a soft touch.
Let your child watch while you drive
- There is no better place to watch a driver and learn how a car works than sitting in the passenger seat. Make the passenger seat their spot in the car.
- Ban the phones and Radio. Show your child how the car works. Where is: the blinker, the switch for the lights, the emergency flasher, the spare tire?
- Over emphasis the tasks you do while driving. Tell them: how to start the car, how to put the car in drive, what each warning light means, why your look over your shoulder as you back up, when you turn on the blinker and so on.
Mel should be driving soon.
Do you have any extra tips for me?