Department of Occupational Therapy, and Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, PO Box 100164, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, and those teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder (ADHD/ASD) may have a greater crash risk.
This case study compared the pre-driving skills of a teen with ADHD/ASD to an age- and gender-matched healthy control (HC).
Data were collected from performance on clinical tests and on a driving simulator.
The main impairments of the teen with ADHD/ASD were the ability to shift attention, perform simple sequential tasks, integrate visual-motor responses, and coordinate motor responses, whereas the HC demonstrated intact skills in these abilities. The teen with ADHD/ASD made 44 driving errors during the drive, and the HC made 17. The teen with ADHD/ASD had more lane maintenance, visual scanning, and speeding errors compared to the HC.
Teens with ADHD/ASD may have more pre-driving deficits and may require a certified driving rehabilitation specialist to assess readiness to drive, but a larger study is needed to confirm this.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among teens. Teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or both (ADHD-ASD) may have a greater crash risk. We examined the between-groups demographic, clinical, and predriving performance differences of 22 teens with ADHD-ASD (mean age = 15.05, standard deviation [SD] = 0.95) and 22 healthy control (HC) teens (mean age = 14.32, SD = 0.72). Compared with HC teens, the teens with ADHD-ASD performed more poorly on right-eye visual acuity, selective attention, visual-motor integration, cognition, and motor performance and made more errors on the driving simulator pertaining to visual scanning, speed regulation, lane maintenance, adjustment to stimuli, and total number of driving errors. Teens with ADHD-ASD, compared with HC teens, may have more predriving deficits and as such require the skills of a certified driving rehabilitation specialist to assess readiness to drive.