Part of transitioning to adulthood includes taking steps to make sure you can live as independently as possible. Part of being independent includes being able to get to where you need to go. Driving oneself may be an option for some adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); other adults with ASD use paratransit, which is available to people with disabilities who are functionally unable to use regular fixed-route transportation. However, many individuals with ASD rely on fixed-route public transportation or ride-sharing like Uber or Lyft to get around.
Omnitrans (San Bernardino County)
Main Number (909) 379-7100
Access ADA Service Reservations
East Valley (909) 383-1680
West Valley 1 (800) 990-2404
Offers Travel Training program to learn about proper passenger etiquette on the bus, crossing streets safely, and the importance of asking for help from drivers, and how to use the Omnitrans app, which allows you to get real-time arrival information and trip planning assistance when riding Omnitrans.
Riverside Transit Authority (RTA)
Travel Training Info – www.riversidetransit.com/index.php/dial-a-ride/travel-training
RTA’s Travel Training Program is long-term and comprehensive to teach customers with disabilities how to travel safely and independently on RTA’s fixed-route buses. The goal of the program is to train individuals with disabilities to travel independently to a regularly visited destination and back. Specially trained personnel provide the travel training on a one-to-one basis. Customers learn travel skills while following a particular route and are taught the safest, most direct route. The training provides the skills required for safe and independent travel.
Driving and Autism
In the United States and most other countries, there are no legal restrictions relating to autism and driving. As long as the individual can pass the required tests and demonstrate safe driving behavior, they are permitted to obtain a driver’s permit and eventually a driver’s license. However, driving is much more than learning “the rules of the road” and being able to pass a licensing test. It entails social judgment; motor coordination; pre-planning; flexibility to change; the ability to focus, multi-task, prioritize, and control one’s anxiety and sensory sensitivities. ASD can affect decision-making, information processing and attention to varying degrees. On the other hand, an individual with ASD may have characteristics that promote safe driving behavior, such as a vigilance to follow driving laws.
California law requires a person under the age of 18 to complete one of the following classroom driver education and driver training courses:
- 25 hours of classroom instruction (not including breaks or time for meals), home study or Internet training program (must be equivalent to classroom instruction requirements).
- 6 hours of Behind-the-Wheel training.
- 50 hours of supervised driving practice that includes 10 hours of driving during darkness.
Additionally, if the person with ASD has difficulty with reading, the California DMV does offer an alternative format (someone asking the questions instead of the applicant reading them). www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/dl/dl_info#alternative
For more info:
AAA office in Upland
1021 E Foothill Blvd, Upland, CA 91786
Has experience with drivers with ASD.
All Star Driving School
Rancho Cucamonga (909)-948-5363
Has experience with inidviduals with autism and learning disabilities.
California Driving School
Experienced with ASD.
Casa Colina Adaptive Driving Program
909/596-7733 ext. 3500
An occupational therapist will evaluate your physical status, cognition, and communication skills as well as attitude and behavior. If further evaluation or training is required, you will have access to a wide range of clinical services available at Casa Colina by referral. Can perform a Behind-the-Wheel Evaluation in which the occupational therapist will evaluate your basic skills in vehicle operation, along with your knowledge of road and traffic situations. Your vision, reaction speed cognition, and other practical skills will be measured using appropriate clinical tools.
The Autism Society Inland Empire Autism (ASIE) maintains these Resource Listings as a service to families as a reference tool. Every effort is made to ensure listings are up-to-date. ASIE does not endorse or claim to have personal knowledge of the abilities of those listed. The resources listed are not intended as a recommendation, referral, or endorsement of any resource or as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any organization, product or professional. Users are urged to use independent judgment and request references when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism, or the provision of services related to autism.