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Teaching your DHH teen to drive

01 December, 2021 Ann Porter Parents

Real Life Tips - Teaching your DHH teen to drive

Learning to drive can be a stressful time for both parent and student, especially if they are deaf or hard of hearing. However, don't let this deter you as they are just as safe on the road as hearing drivers.

  • If applicable, insist they wear their hearing aids or cochlear implant while driving.
  • Ensure they have spare hearing aid batteries and have them pull the car over if they need to replace them.
  • Use an assistive device, such as a Roger, to amplify your voice if helpful for your teen.
  • Give instructions before start driving so your child can focus on listening and, if needed, read your lips.
  • Turn off the radio and keep windows up to minimise noise.
  • While driving, keep instructions short and audible.
  • Have an agreed physical prompt, like tapping their leg, to get their attention in a noisy or stressful situation.
  • Remind them to constantly scan what is going on around them and be more alert for visual prompts, e.g. noticing cars pulling over to let an emergency vehicle through.
  • Research driving instructors and encourage your teen to request effective communication adjustments.
  • Ask other passengers in the car to keep noise to a minimum so the driver can concentrate.
  • Consider investing in a larger rearview mirror and encourage them to use their mirrors more often to see things that they may not hear.
  • Reinforce the need to minimise distractions while driving, such as using the phone and eating.
  • Have your teen meet with the driving examiner before the test to explain any adjustments that may be needed.

Download the infographic.