The Drive Smart team really enjoyed our Autism Friendly Workshop at Autism SA. The workshop introduced us to the Autism Friendly Charter. The Charter “provides a framework for businesses, organisations and services to become and maintain an autism friendly environment” (Autism SA 2017).
We have worked with many Autism Spectrum clients over the years and learned a lot about supporting their journey to become safe drivers. The workshop helped us build on this experience, learn more about the sector and share our experiences as instructors.
Aspergers, Autism, ASD – What’s in a name?
You might talk about Aspergers, being On the Spectrum, Autism, AS, Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. We don’t really mind what you call it, we simply build on what ever driving skills you have when we meet you then work hard to help you become a good safe driver.
The main thing reinforced at the Autism Friendly Workshop was that people are people and just want to be treated as such. We know the best way to build a good working relationship with all clients is to treat everyone the same. People need different support strategies along the way but we don’t make a big deal, we just get on with helping our clients become great drivers.
Sometimes we are the first people who have treated clients just like every one else, not special or different. We have the advantage of teaching one to one so we can tailor the teaching style and process to suit each client’s needs. The learning program simply evolves into one that meets individual client needs.
We know good things take time
We will stick with the plan for as long as it takes. If it takes two years to become a safe driver we will be with you for two years. Just the same, if you have done a huge amount of work yourself and only need us for two months, we will be there with you for the two months.
We know everyone is different. No two clients are the same. That is the beauty of it all. Life would be so dull if everyone was the same. We are committed to meeting the different needs of all our clients including those ‘on the spectrum’. Autism SA are a great support group for families and providers alike. We are looking forward working further with Autism SA and our Autism Spectrum clients as we continue developing our skills, knowledge and understanding as inclusive trainers, teachers and instructors.
Related information and articles
Learn more about the Autism Friendly Charter at Autism SA