Learning To Drive With Dyslexia
learning to drive with dyslexia can be as easy as 1,3,2. This article explains a little about the dyslexic learning disorder in the context of learning to drive. Have a look at our top tips on how to make things a little more manageable. This guide will not only help students with dyslexia prepare for learning to drive but also offer some help to driving instructors teaching their first dyslexic customer.
One of our dyslexic students put it best saying ”whether you think you can, or think you can’t you’re right”.
There are several different types of dyslexia and levels of severity. We realize that if you find reading very difficult then this article probably isn’t going to help unless someone can read it for you.
Everyday Health has a great article on the different types of dyslexia if you’re interested.
If you want to know a bit more about how to go about preparing for your theory test and driving test please give us a call on (07838166663) Or message us via our contact booking form.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder, mainly, causing problems with the brain decoding speech-related sounds to how they relate to letters and words. However, dyslexia is about information processing and it can also affect how someone processes and remembers what they see and hear. If you have dyslexia it does not affect your vision and it’s common for you to have normal or above normal intelligence too.
Just like succeeding at school with dyslexia, learning to drive is very manageable if the tutoring is specialized with the disorder in mind. Dyslexia is just a different way of thinking, and it’s important to remember –
Many dyslexics will show major strengths in other areas such as reasoning and creativity. Might explain some of the random things happening already by some of your students on lessons.
They could be dyslexic!
Keeping It Quiet
If you try too hard to fit in you might forget you were born to stand out.
When it comes to driving lessons, many students refrain from telling their instructors they have a learning disorder. They struggle on throughout their course and a week before test then tell their trainer they’re dyslexic. Tell your instructor at the start of your course and they can help create a better learning environment for you.
Our instructors found just asking the student at the start of the lesson how they learn best can be a nice way to open up a conversation around learning disorders. If they feel comfortable knowing its normal to drive with dyslexia you can plan it around their preferred style from the get-go.
So if your driving instructor knows you are dyslexic what can they do to prepare?
What To Expect – Learning To Drive With Dyslexia
Over the years we have noticed some issues and a few great coping strategies to help you over, under or around them. Here’s a list of some of the things that may need a little bit more attention when learning to drive with dyslexia.
If a student can’t learn the way we teach, then let’s teach the way they learn.
1. Poor Sense of Direction and Confusion with Road Signs
This one’s a popular one with everyone but can affect dyslexic students a little more.
The first thing you need to know about the driving test is that you can’t fail for going the wrong way. As long as you keep things safe, going the wrong way isn’t a problem, trust us! Yes if you constantly go the wrong way throughout your test you will most likely fail, but you’re probably not ready for the road if you’re getting everything wrong.
4 out of 5 tests get sat-nav too, so you’re quite likely to get it for your independent driving. The Sat Nav, which shows you pictures and also talks directions to you, will last for approximately half of the test (20 mins). If you’re unlucky and have to follow signs there’s still hope. Many of our dyslexic students say they struggle to read the signs but learn what the whole word looks like. With plenty of practice, they have no trouble spotting where to go when it comes to the test.
A lot of people without dyslexia struggle with their sense of direction. So your not on your own with this one, trust us!
Unable to Cope with Too Many Tasks at the Same Time
When you start learning to drive you and your instructor can soon work out a plan that suits the way you learn best. Some people like to master each step before moving on and some prefer to have a little go of everything. If taking it nibble by nibble until subjects nudge from your short term memory to your long term memory is what you prefer then that’s fine.
You may find you get easily distracted by what’s going on around you. It’s your instructors job to help you focus if they see you drifting off. They’re used to it and will no doubt help you reconnect to the lesson in hand.
Slower Reaction Times
By helping you to develop your forward planning and anticipation skills your instructor can help you to start spotting things earlier. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be well ahead of your game. Spotting things early, anticipating and getting used to common clues and signs when out on the road can help. Maybe spend some time on your hazard perception videos in between lessons.
That’s the practical side but what about the theory?
Learning To Drive With Dyslexia – The Theory Test
The theory test is something that most dyslexic students tend to worry about the most. Remember, every year hundreds of dyslexic students pass their theory test. Although it can be a bit more difficult, be positive and remember you can do it!
Many online revision tools will read out the questions and answers to you to help. We like to recommend to students with dyslexia driving test success.
If you do have dyslexia special requirements can be made.
Assisted Voice Over Tests
If you struggle to understand written English you may want to consider requestion voice over. The assisted voice over allows you to hear the questions and possible answer through headphones.
The voice-overs are available in British, Welsh and British sign language.
If your dyslexia does cause problems with reading then you may want to request extra time. The extra allotted time is only for the multiple-choice part of the test and not the hazard perception.
Take Someone With You
You can take someone along to read what is on the screen and to record down your answer.
Learning To Drive With Dyslexia – Let’s Do This
As we’ve shown, learning to drive with dyslexia, although at times may be tricky it is by no means out of reach. It can just take dyslexics a little longer to develop their sense of automaticity for driving tasks. Taking things on board and getting things in the correct order can sometimes take a little longer for a dyslexic student but with plenty of practice it will come.
By introducing a multi-sensory learning approach to their lessons an instructor can soon start to help the student hop, skip and jump over many of their learning hurdles. Ultimately, the general rule of thumb would be to try not to overload the learner driver and to take more breaks than usual.
Please contact our specialist instructors via our contact booking form or call us on 07838166663 for any more information on learning to drive with dyslexia.
If you have any stories about learning to drive with dyslexia please fill in the comments box below. We always like to hear your stories.