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Driving with Dyslexia

Tips and Advice for Drivers with Dyslexia

by Tracy East

Dyslexia is a common learning disability that afflicts almost 10% of the population, including famous minds like Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, and Albert Einstein. While usually associated with difficulties in reading, writing and spelling, dyslexia can also affect us outside of the classroom.

Driving can be a stressful task for dyslexics. Left and right are often confused, and the struggle to read highway signs while negotiating heavy traffic can be frustrating. How can we help?

When giving directions to a dyslexic driver, use visual images to describe the route. For example, "Turn left at the green house with white shutters."

Make instructions vivid but brief. Many dyslexics have difficulties with long sequences of information.

Point out places to safely stop along the way. Dyslexic drivers may have trouble sustaining concentration over a long time.

Describe visible landmarks or elapsed time to help gauge distances. For example, "After about an hour's drive, you'll reach the town of Northport."

When driving with a dyslexic, keep conversation to a minimum. Turn off the radio or listen quietly on headphones so you don't disturb their concentration.

Remember that all drivers should allow enough time for that day's road conditions as well as any unforeseen events. Rushing to make an appointment isn't worth the risk of a collision.