Driving – Just Like You?

My husband got a new car a few months ago. It has a stick shift. I had not driven one in a long, long time but I needed to drive it and it came back like riding a bicycle.  We were talking about this Sunday evening when Rachel said, “Daddy, I am almost 15.  I want you to teach me how to drive.” This isn’t the first time.  Rachel has been driving for a long time. Evidence –

This is fun!
This is fun!
Time to ride.
Time to ride.
Not fast enough. I'm outta here!
Not fast enough. I’m outta here!

It makes sense that Rachel would be interested in driving.  Rachel’s friends are all talking about getting permits. Some even have them. Rachel is very independent and very social so of course this is the next rung on the ladder to adulthood.  Jonathan and I have discussed this driving thing. There are a very few people who have Down syndrome who drive. We know a couple of them.  We’ve talked with their parents. If this is something she really wants to do, we would try to help her with this “rite of passage.”

I said, “Rachel, why do you want daddy to teach you instead of mommy?” In my mind I was thinking about how this showed she has good judgment. I suspect my meltdowns from working on math and spelling would be like a walk in the park compared to this.  Her answer, “Well, you are a good driver but daddy plays Mario Kart with me.  I am good at Mario Kart.”

I have seen her play Mario Kart.  I think it will be awhile before the roads are ready for Rachel and her pink Jeep.


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  1. Hahaha, love her reasoning for wanting Daddy to teach her!! Okay, on a more serious note, this is definitely something I’ve thought a lot about. I’ve always felt that Samantha could learn to drive, but the more I think about it the more it terrifies me. She talks a lot about driving when she turns 17. Sheesh, she’s only 7!!! Someone with an adult son with Ds the other day was saying she thought her son could probably learn to drive, and she wasn’t too worried about him being a safe driver, but she said *if* something were to happen, *if* there were an accident, how would it be received? How would he defend himself? Who would defend him? I hadn’t thought about it that way. I will follow Rachel’s progress in this area with great interest!

  2. Thanks for reading Rebecca! Yes – Sammi and Rachel think alike. Of course our kids want to do want others do. This is just one of the many things where you stop and take a breath. It’s like staying home alone. If everything goes as planned but what about those what if’s? I know everyone faces what if’s but it is different for us

  3. Personally, I think Mario Kart is actually harder than real life driving. 🙂 Every time Shannon watches a car commercial she points to herself and signs drive.

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