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Non-Profit start-up Center for Adults with Autism, in Central Maryland. Please vote for me 
01-Oct-2010 @ 10:25 am
  A friend of mine (who will be the director) and I have applied for part of this grant award. 

Our idea is to establish a Center for adults with Autism, in Central Maryland.  Currently, a kind friend drives me an hour north (sometimes 1.5 to 2 hours in Beltway traffic) to Baltimore for any Autism resources I may use.  There are few resources for Autistic adults in Central (Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Bowie, Prince George’s County, etc)., Maryland, and many for children.  My goal is to provide resources for when the autistic children in this area transition into adulthood.

The favor I am asking from you is for one free click and vote.  You get a vote Per day for our idea for October.  Please vote daily or as often as possible. 

The more votes we receive, the more likely we are to get the grant award.    Please share this information with your contacts, your family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances.  We have to be in the top two to receive funding.

4 Clicks  (I highly recommend you sign in with your Facebook account,  it is easier that way).

1.        Please go to http://www.refresheverything.com/autismadultsmd


2.       Click the Browse Ideas and Vote button on the right-hand side.

3.       Next, please log in on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.  You can either use your Facebook account or your email address to create an account with a password.

4.      Please do this every day or as often as possible!  Please forward this to as many people as you can.

Hey, as long as your checking your email or Facebook, why not click on over?
Thank you for voting for my endeavor.  If you have any questions, please feel free to respond to this email.  Voting starts on October 1st and ends on September 31st.

Have a blessed day. 

PS.  If you or someone you know is affected by Autism, your vote every day truly helps.  Thank you.

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04-Sep-2009 @ 1:19 am
  Hi fellow impaired drivers. Decided to check up on this community. At least it's still some what active! =]

What is your most recent problem that has came up because you can't drive?

Just wondering. I'm 21, still don't have a license, not really going to go for it anytime soon... although the thought occurs to me once in awhile. The pressure from family to suddenly be able to drive is absolutely mind numbing.

I have a bunch of health issues and dentist related issues that I need to get worked out, but no one will give me a ride... so I'm kind of screwed, heh. My husband drives, but on top of the fact our car is dead he's using my fathers truck to go to work... so its even more difficult to really get anywhere. That, and it's extremely frustrating because I rarely get to the grocery so I end up eating mostly fast food which in turn, is making this whole, "lose weight" thing even more difficult. Oh well. Maybe it'll work itself out... eventually. =|
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Hello everyone... 
13-Jul-2009 @ 1:39 pm
  Finally, people who understand!  I am 36 years old and hate to drive. It simply terrifies me. I have lost many friends in my life due to the fact that I am terrified of driving.
I did get my license. I really don't know how. I had failed about three times before. I am able to drive locally. I drive to the pharmacy to get meds or to the grocery store, but that is about it. But on highways, forget it! I don't know how long it has been since I drove on a highway. And no one ever understands this. I hate to go out.  The whole conversation turns into me and how I am going to get there and home, and it is simply embarrassing. I did have a few friends who did not mind driving me, but most found it to be an inconvenience. When I tell people that I am afraid of driving, they simply can't understand how I don't love driving.
I am currently looking for a job, but I am very limited as to where I can work because of my lack of driving skills. I can't work anywhere that would involve driving on a highway to get there.
Anyway, it is so nice to find people who understand what I am going through.
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03-Jun-2009 @ 3:53 pm
  Hey again everyone! ♥

Just wanted to say that I had another lesson after my disastrous one last week, and it was fine!! It wasn't enjoyable, and I was glad when it was over, but still, it didn't end in tears like the last one. I wasn't perfect, but I didn't make any major mistakes either. So I was very happy with myself afterwards! At one point during the lesson I remember thinking "this is what I've been stressing about all along? but this is easy!" :)

I have 3 more lessons, and then my test is one week from today. I'm really nervous about it, but I'm just going to have to force myself to do it! Tomorrow morning I have a lesson on parking, which is scary because I don't think that I'm very good at parking at all. But I guess I will just do my best and trust my instructor. And once I have my license, I'll just park far away where there are no other cars around. LOL

Learning to drive is really really difficult. It's not the type of thing where you can just sit at the back of the classroom and figure it out for yourself. You're in the front seat of a moving vehicle, and it requires you to be active at all times. Which is difficult for someone like me who learns passively. But I know that I can do it because I'm responsible and practicing as much as I can. And you can too! I never thought I'd be this close to getting my license, but I'm nearly there!

Keep trying!
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29-May-2009 @ 3:35 pm
  Hi there! Looks like no one has posted here for a while, but I just wanted to share my driving experiences with someone. I used to be scared of driving, then I kind of got over it. But unfortunately it's back again.

behind the cut because it's kinda longCollapse )
Leaving this community... 
21-Aug-2008 @ 3:31 pm
  Greetings everyone.

I have been very scared of driving for goodness knows how long. However, at the behest of my lovely wife and my increased need to find jobs that are not always close to a bus or train line, I started learning how to drive in January with the purchase of a 2001 Chevy Cavalier.

I was reluctant to call it "driving" at first. It was simply "controlling a motor vehicle and hope like heck that I don't die in a fiery cauldron of steel and gasoline", but that was too wordy to use in normal conversation.

However, slowly but surely, I began to find my bearings in my control of the motour vehicle. By March 15, I finally got my driver's license at the young and tender age of... 28.

Now, I go to the local city garage and my kid's grandparent's house every weekday, and I've careened down the expressway at 70 55 MPH. So... I don't think I can consider myself "driving impaired" anymore. I'm now highly observant, but I'm not entirely comfortable with driving- nor do I want to be, since being comfortable leads to sloppiness. I must remain ever-vigilant.

I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful support since the time I signed up. My first driving education experiences were absolutely abysmal, and I was relieved of the idea that there were others out there who didn't immediately wish to use the family car since their late teens, or didn't yearn to go on cross country road trips in the summer. To all of you who are physically unable to drive, I cannot begin to empathize with your plight, but I wish you all the best. For those of you who are simply frozen with fear but still trying, keep at it. For those of you who simply refuse to drive because of the fear- I feel your pain, but remember this: I used to make page-long LJ messages about my blood-curdling fear, and how it isn't necessary for me to drive. And now, I'm about to pick up my kid in my ol' Cavalier. I hope you can overcome this, but if you don't, I completely understand.

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There are good points to not driving... 
23-Jul-2008 @ 12:27 am
  I'm guessing the rest of you do a fair bit more walking than our peers who drive, as I do. A couple of days ago, I went to get my permit renewed, and decided to walk the mile or two to the local DMV. The area it in is right by a park and a prairie reconstruction/education project dealie, which is part of the government center that DMV center is in. I couldn't help but notice that most of the people walking to and from their cars didn't even glance up at what was right by the parking lot...

Am I a freak for noticing and appreciating the following pics?Collapse )
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Big Fear..... 
20-Jul-2008 @ 6:31 pm
  I'm 24 years old. I have had my license for about 7 years and only been behind the wheel like 5 times in my 24 years of living. I have this very serious fear of driving that is driving me crazy. When I get behind the wheel, I become dizzy, light-headed, and totally upset. I have not been traumatized in the past with accidents or anything else that would change my mind about driving, so I do not understand the reason why I can not get behind the wheel. Not being able to drive has made my life a living hell. When my friends and I go out, the topic is always “How is Valencia going to get home?” or “Who’s picking her up?”. I feel like a helpless child and just pathetic. I hate taking public transportation and and my jobs have always been walking distance from my house, because of this fear. Living in the city is easy to find jobs or to get around. I'm just tired of all the crazy people that take public transportation. Being a female, men often like to pick on you and yell sexual comments. I found this community and I am very surprised that other people are on here expressing the same problem that I am trying to get over. I hope and pray that I can get comfort on here and to get over this fear....HELP!  
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Left turns 
18-Mar-2008 @ 12:37 pm
  I've been driving home from work and there is this one street I have to make a left turn on..Now I have a light and the people on the other side have a light so when I am about to make a left there is all this on coming traffic. And most of the time it is too much to handle at once and I end up nearly in the middle of the road!

Does anyone have any advice for successfully make this left hand turn so I'm not stuck in the middle of the road?

Thank you!
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One small step 
15-Mar-2008 @ 4:09 pm

So I have procured my license- now, the hard part begins.
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Yet another newbie post. 
20-Jan-2008 @ 8:43 pm
  I'm suprised I found this group...but it's great that it exists.

I have an irrational fear of driving, and feel so alone in that fact most of the time. I'm 28 with no drivers license, but something like my third or fourth permit. I'm fine when there aren't other people on the road, but as soon as there are moe than maybe five others...hello panic attack land.

It used to happen when I'm a passanger, but I've gotten better with that, banning occational relapses.

Unfortunately, as it looks like others know, getting around is a problem...if I drove, my commute would be only 15 minutes, but by bus, it's a half hour walk, then another half hour busride. Minnesota winters really suck.

Anyway...before this turns into a ramble...glad to see this place, even if it does seem pretty quiet. :)
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01-Jan-2008 @ 1:52 am
  Even though this community hasn't been updated in a while, I'm glad I found it. I'm 24 and have a car, but am terrified to drive it. I didn't get my license until I was 18 because I went to boarding school where I wasn't allowed to have a car. I went to college near New York City where everybody rode the bus and went into the city for fun, so I didn't need one there. Then I took a year off, and lived in Glasgow, Scotland for a year, where you don't need a car. Now I am having a LOT of difficulty changing lanes and merging because I am looking in front of me and get scared that if I look in my rearview/sidemirror/back window I'll crash into something. I've never changed lanes without someone else also in the car and am doing it on Wednesday for a hair appointment and terrified. I know that you go to cemeteries to work on driving but where do you go where there aren't a lot of people that has two lanes so you can practice changing?  
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Missed Opportunity 
03-Oct-2007 @ 9:48 pm
  Hi everyone! I'm new here. I'm 23 years old and I've never had my license before. I have an extreme fear of driving. I really need to vent right now because I feel like not driving is really screwing up my life right now. I just got offered a job for really good money, but it's an hour away from where I currently live and it's in a big, spread-out city with terrible public transportation. Basically it's this huge opportunity because I never thought I'd make this much money in my life, but I have to turn down the job because I can't drive to it. Has this ever happened to anyone before?  
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The day of reckoning approaches... 
01-Oct-2007 @ 11:15 pm
mood: anxious
After seven years, two learner's permits, several false starts and four months of driving lessons, the end is finally in sight.

I am scheduled for my road test on Friday, October 12.

I feel pretty well prepared in terms of the mechanics: staying centered in my lane while driving, checking for oncoming traffic, parallel parking, the three-point turn... What has me nervous is that I have no idea what to expect of the test itself. I'm a person who fears the unknown big time. Plus I'm in a position now where my job really requires me to have a car. I'm lucky to have lasted as long as I have without one. So I'm scared as hell that I'll forget to do something silly and fail because of it.

So this is a request for those of you who have taken a road test, particularly in New York state, regardless of whether you passed or not. Walk me through the test. What was it like for you? What did you have to do? Those of you who failed, why?

Any other tips are appreciated as well.

Wish me luck...
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Book up for Grabs: Zen Driving 
23-Sep-2007 @ 10:32 am
mood: content
Hi everyone. I decided to fight my fear and learn how to drive about a year ago. I'm 36. It was very difficult, but it's getting much easier, and I love the freedom I have now. I had a good instructor; that was critical for me. A book that also helped me a lot was Zen Driving by K.T. Berger, and I'd like to mail it to whoever wants it, as a gift. I don't need it anymore. Postage is on me. (It's a pretty thin paperback.)
Hi all 
19-Sep-2007 @ 5:44 pm
  My name is Claudia, I'm 25 years old, and I don't have a license. I took driver's education when I was 16, passed, took the permit test, failed, and got my permit after the second attempt. My dad used to pick me up from school and I'd drive home. My senior year I even got a driver's instructor and finished the course. I went to college and didn't feel I was ready to take the test and so my dad continued to pick me up and I'd drive home every now and then, but sometimes I just didn't feel up to it. I let my permit expire and didn't drive for a long time but eventually took the test again and had my permit. Well, it's been years since I've driven and now it's come to the point where I may need to get a car/my license because I'm looking to get a job and even though it's really close by it's rather impossible to walk there during the winter because it gets really cold here (negative degrees, sometimes) and my husband will not hear of me walking there and back (honestly I wouldn't want to because I'm from California and even though I've lived here a couple of years I'm not used to, nor do I like, how cold it gets here).

At times I think I want a car because it would mean so much freedom. I've never really had a desire for one. I feel nervous yet excited at the thought of owning my own vehicle and honestly if we lived anywhere else I'd probably still keep my pedestrian status because not only do I love to walk, but I just don't feel like I could handle the responsibility of a car. I don't think I'm a good driver and I've never really driven by myself before. I feel I'm bad at changing lanes and horrible at backing up. I also have emetophobia, and I imagine that wouldn't help matters when feeling anxious.

Anyway, thanks for reading. It's nice to be in a group that understands. :-)
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03-Sep-2007 @ 6:41 pm
mood: anxious
Hi my name is Lulu and I'm 20 years old (turning 21 in October)I'm originally from NYC where you don't need a car, but I moved to Miami, FL in 2001 when I was 15 years old, and you definitely need a car there. At that time I was just starting my sophmore year of high school, in Miami when you're in the 10th grade you get a semester of Drivers Ed, something they didn't offer at my high school in NYC. I started freaking out right away, and the first time I got behind the wheel, while making a turn I hit a cone, some of the kids were laughing, which made me feel like crap, plus the teacher would constantly yell at me, which made me feel even more nervous. I hated that class with a passion, and I would skip the class as many times possible only coming to class the days that we did book work. At the end of the term the teacher gave the students a slip that we could take to the driver lisence place, and we would get our permit, Guess who didn't end up getting hers? Yep, you guessed it, Me! So when sophomore year ended, I decided to get my permit over the summer, and studied all of the questions for the test, I ended up passing it, and got my permit, but I still refused to get behind the wheel of a car. This was in 2002, and we are now in 2007 last week I had had enough of having my mother drive me all over the place. I'm a college student and can't drive, while one of my friends whos 2 years younger drives like a pro, and it just seems like it's a piece of cake for her. So, why can't I do the same? My permit expired and I have no lisence, so last week I tried to get over my fear decided to start driving around the community where I live, and so far so good my mom said I was pretty good. Today I decided to go on the road, and I started freaking out once I got on the road. My leg started shaking, I got sweaty palms and feet, and became lightheaded and felt like I was gonna faint, my mom was saying I was driving too close to the sidewalk, and I heard some cars honking at me. Everytime I had to make a turn I felt like I was gonna go over the sidewalk and run over someone. When I got home, I felt completely depressed, my mom called a driving instructor, and mentioned I got really nervous on the road, but he said not to worry he was going to eliminate that fear off me, so the lesson will be for 2 hours on Wednesday morning, and I really just feel like I can't do it. I just feel so useless, and at this point I'm thinking on moving back to NYC. I just think to myself why can't I be like everyone else and drive? I am glad to see that I'm not alone, and that's why I joined this community, so I can get this out of my system, because just a few people that I know well know about my fear of driving, but we don't talk about it. Many people that I meet at school I've actually lied to, by telling them I can drive, because I just think it's so embarrasing!
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*waves* hi, I'm new here... 
16-Jul-2007 @ 9:18 pm

My names Cat, I live in Ontario, Canada and I'm 24 years old, with just my G1 (basically a learners permit).

When I was in highschool, I got my learners (for the first time then) and was...well...a nervous wreck behind the wheel. I eventually moved away to university and let my learners expire. And I really wouldn't care about that right now, except for one itty bitty detail...

A few years ago, I decided that I really, really want to become a Paramedic.

Here in Ontario where I live, it's very competative to get into the program (let alone getting a job once you graduate..that's another story altogeter). Anywho, I've put a lot into this, (volunteered in the field, worked in a hospital, obtained a lot of extra certifications and whatnot that will give me an edge in the program, and i've even got some of my textbooks and have been starting with reading, months before school starts. etc...)
and managed to get into the program at all my top choices of college, without problem. This is a lot more than some of my other friends who have tried/are trying to get into this program can do.

But there is one obstacle that keeps elduing me, and it's a pretty important one for my career choice...

Driving. I never got past having my beginners (or "G1" as it's called here in Ontario where we have graduated licensing
click here if you have no idea what i meanCollapse )

I went back in the fall, got my beginners again, and went back to drivers ed (I did go through it once before, but never acutally finished).

Since completely my drivers ed, I've now had 2 failed attempts
at my roadtest. Everyone who I've practiced with thinks that I should be able to pass, no problem (parents, friends, driving instructor) yet each time I fail the test my parents start into the "maybe you need to rethink your career" talk. I know I can do this, and I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself too, and I'm making idiotic mistakes on the test because I'm full of nerves. I have another appointment for my roadtest booked for a month form now (they get booked quickly and that was the soonest I could get) and I *need* to get this then, because I start school in September.
(and will be living a few hours away from home then). I can do the program without having the license, but then I won't be able to get a job right away, until I can get my license to drive an ambulance.

My parents are also seeming to put pressure on me for my backup plan, and while I have a few ideas of what I could do,

I don't want to give up my dream quite yet either.

i'm not sure what i'm looking for, but any help or advice is appreciated...
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Introduction + Question 
20-Dec-2006 @ 6:37 pm
  Hello, all.  I've been a watcher of this community for some time, but have never actually introduced myself.  My name is Allison; I'm a college sophomore (err, technically a first-year, but I have enough credits to be considered a sophomore), and...well, I'm driving impaired, which should be obvious from my joining this community. :P  It's not that I can't drive (I've had my license for about two years), it's that it...terrifies me.  Besides that, I'm spatially challenged; I can't parallel park very well, nor pull into a tight parking space.  However, parents tell me that I'm a "good driver" (perhaps because I'm very careful behind the wheel) and can't seem to grasp my issues with it.  That said...

My question is, how can I help them understand my driving impairment, beyond just pointing out the facts?  What I mean is, how can I convey the problem to them in a meaningful way, rather than just telling them that I'm afraid of it, that I have trouble parking, etc.?  This is especially crucial for my mom, who associates driving with maturity.  She thinks that a mature, responsible adult should be able to drive him /herself around without a problem.  How might I clear up that misconception?

Thanks!  I look forward to hearing from and meeting you guys. :)

EDIT: I forgot to add that I live on campus and bike to class, but am home on school breaks and such.  It's not especially easy to bike in Los Angeles (where my parents live); it's vastly easier in Irvine, where I go to school.
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01-Nov-2006 @ 11:15 am
  Hi all! I'm doing a paper for my English class and I wrote on how I think the driving age should be raised to 18. Part of the assignment is to look for feedback on this issue. My paper includes the following paragraph:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, with an average of approximately 10 teenagers dying per day. Over 20% of all traffic deaths in the United States occurred when a teenager was driving. It is reported that teenagers drive less than any other age group except for senior citizens; however, the rate of accidents is the highest. Per mile, teenagers are 4 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than are 20 to 24-year-old drivers, and 6 times more likely to be involved in a crash than are 25 to 29-year-old drivers. The studies show that "it's immediately after teenagers get their full-privilege licenses and begin to drive without supervision that their crash rates are highest." These statistics are all dangerously high. The question we have to ask ourselves is simple: Is a sixteen year old really old enough to obtain their license and control a car?

Any positive and/or negative comments is greatly appreciated! Do you think the driving age should be raised to 18??
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