CA written drivers test: what helped your ADHD child to pass?
Asking for suggestions for my adult child, whose attention issues made school miserable (as one result, she chose not to go on to college). She wasn't interested in getting her driver's license at the usual age (very comfortable with public transit), but now in her mid-20s is motivated to do so. She's actually pretty good behind the wheel (in parking lots, etc.) but when she saw the manual, she panicked. She hasn't had to study for anything in several years, and she's convinced she won't be able to do so now. What helped your attention-challenged teen study and learn for their California drivers test? (Feel fee to response directly.) Thanks in advance!
May 2, 2023
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I asked my 22 year old this question. He took the written test about 6 months ago and passed it on the first try. He has pretty severe ADHD and had similar problems to your daughter in high school. He did not use the manual to study for the test - he, too, was intimidated by the manual. Instead he took the online practice tests over and over until he had learned the correct answers to all the questions. He said the questions on the actual test were all in the practice tests. Now if we can just get him over his anxiety about taking the driving test!
By the way he got excellent driving instruction from Bubble of Safety driving classes, which he said are half teaching and half therapy for anxious drivers. He is now a very confident driver but the idea of taking the driving test is proving to be a big obstacle for him.
My daughter is doing one-on-one written test prep with Moira Motil who specializes in teaching students with attention difficulties to drive. She does very small group classes and one-on-one coaching/teaching from permit test through behind-the-wheel.
Contact Moira directly at mfmnapa [at] yahoo.com
My son also has ADHD and learning disabilities that make test taking and memorization very hard for him. We are in WA state, so I'm not sure if CA has the same rules, but this is what worked for him. First, he took a drivers ed class. This was a requirement for him because he was under 18, but even if it hadn't been required, I think it was useful because it presented all the information in the booklet orally and through videos and discussion--this was probably less overwhelming than trying to read the booklet independently. I don't think he ever opened the booklet. After as he finished the class, he started working with on-line practice tests. He did 1-2 practice tests a day for about two months, each time reviewing the questions he got wrong. Eventually, he was able to answer all these correctly on the practice tests, and then he took the written test. The first time, he missed one more question than allowed, so he had to retake it, and finally passed. It was a long process, but the on-line practice tests did seem to be a good way to assess when he was ready.
Our 22 yo son, mild adhd plus pretty big anxiety, didn’t bother with the manual, went in and failed 3 tests in a row. He came home really frustrated but very motivated to read thru the entire manual with me. Then he took about 50 online tests, set up a proctored exam at home online and passed. The dmv computers and other people so close by were very nerve-wracking for him. I’ll second another poster here and say Bubble of Safety driving lessons are really great. I hope he retains his confidence for the hands on test!