My high functioning autistic daughter passed her driving test this week!
This was her third attempt. The first time she ran a yellow light and was back in five minutes, which I wrote about in the post Laughter Keeps You Sane. On the second attempt, the tester told her to speed up and run a yellow light, among other oddities, and completely confused her before telling her she failed.
We moved to a snootier part of town a couple of years ago and the DMV personnel are a little on the bitchy-snobby side at the nearest location, so for this last exam we switched DMV offices. We returned to a more comfortable ‘hood where people aren’t so uppity. It seemed like the logical thing to do since the car she’s testing in, the old family car my son now drives, has a driver’s side window held up by Gorilla Glue. We could at least eliminate car prejudice from the mix.
She was assigned to a reasonable, nice, older gentleman at the we-don’t-care-what-you-drive DMV office. He greeted her kindly, unlike either of the witches at the Snootville location. It was quickly apparent that he was indeed the opposite extreme. He was rather chatty and liked to lean in.
I inwardly cringed.
My daughter doesn’t like to have her space invaded and too much chit-chat can overwhelm her. The situation had the potential to quickly go south before they even reached the car door.
He pointed dangerously close to her necklace and asked her about it. She reflexively reared back. To her credit, she pretended not to hear him and asked him to repeat the question so she could compose herself a bit.
I could see the outward “gird your loins” signs she was exhibiting as they left, unnoticeable to anyone else. She was mentally preparing to get into a car with Mr. Chatty & Up Close.
I crossed my fingers.
Fifteen minutes passed, which was longer than any of her other tests, and I began to get hopeful. They returned a short time later and neither of them said anything. The tester told us to wait while he gathered paperwork and then asked if we had the required form.
I reached for the form. “So, she passed?” I’m sure I sounded a little more surprised than was warranted.
“Did you need the required form the last two times she took the test?” he smiled. Nice, yet snarky. THAT’s what I expect from DMV personnel.
I drove the clunker – I mean the gentle, aging family car – home since she’d had enough driving for one day. She sat down in the passenger seat and sounded a little in shock herself, “I passed the writing exam to get my diploma and now the driving test!”
I’m glad I’m not the only one a bit gobsmacked, in a good way, with these recent events.
Now, on to finishing college and getting a job. Not necessarily in that order.