Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Little Known About How Autism Affects Teen Drivers: Researchers

Little Known About How Autism Affects Teen Drivers: Researchers

01/12/12

THURSDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Two-thirds of driving-age American teens with a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder are currently driving or plan to drive, and these teens have a number of common characteristics, a new study says.

People with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders, or HFASDs, have subtle impairments in social interaction, communication, motor skills and coordination. They also have difficulty regulating emotions.

Many of these skills are used when driving, noted the researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies.

"Little is known about how HFASDs affect a person's ability to drive safely," study lead author and developmental pediatrician Dr. Patty Huang said in a hospital news release.

"Over the past decade, the rate of children diagnosed with an HFASD has increased, meaning that more of those kids are now approaching driving age. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers, so it is important that we understand how HFASDs impact driving and how to develop appropriate educational and evaluation tools," she noted.

Huang and her colleagues surveyed nearly 300 parents of teens with HFASDs and identified a number of common characteristics among teens most likely to become drivers, including:

  • Being at least 17 years old
  • Enrollment in full-time regular education
  • Planning to attend college
  • Having held a paid job outside the home
  • Having a parent who has taught another teen to drive
  • Inclusion of driving-related goals in his or her individualized education plan.

The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

"It's very common for parents of kids with HFASDs to ask how they should handle learning to drive. Knowing these characteristics can help us prepare anticipatory guidance for families," Huang said. "In Pennsylvania, it's the law for teens to have a doctor's sign-off before they can get a learner's permit and that makes it easier to address driving-specific concerns. In states that don't have those laws, it's an issue that physicians should be prepared to address with their patients and their parents."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about teen drivers.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >