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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Brown, Timothy

Description

Description

Driving a motor vehicle is central to independent living but is a serious responsibility. Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can make the acquisition of driving skills challenging and in some cases even impossible. While some individuals with ASD routinely operate a motor vehicle safely, others do not. Those who do drive typically took three times as long to acquire safe driving skills than the general public. However, there has been no systematic research addressing the questions: (1) Which individuals with ASD can learn to safely operate a motor vehicle? (2) What are good procedures to train adolescents with ASD to safely operate a motor vehicle? We have previously secured support from the Department of Defense (DoD) to demonstrate the feasibility of evaluating and training adolescents with ASD to drive using virtual reality driving simulation (VRDS), which was successful. This project employed a DoD-funded virtual reality driving simulator that was intended to aid wounded warriors recovering from a traumatic brain injury to safely resume driving. We are applying this innovative technology and procedure to ASD adolescents who have earned a learner's permit.We propose to recruit 60 adolescents composed of 30 from Iowa and 30 from Virginia and evaluate their critical cognitive abilities and initial driving abilities on the simulator. These evaluations, along with an on-toad test, will be repeated 2 months later. In between these two evaluations, all of the ASD adolescents will proceed with the routine on-the-road training required by the Department of Motor Vehicles to secure an independent driver's license. Some of these adolescents will also receive our "Standard" training on a virtual reality driving simulator. Additionally, some of the subjects will also receive different elements of our virtual reality simulation training. The goal of this study is to determine if the ability to learn how to safely operate a motor vehicle can be predicted with these cognitive tests, whether the ability to benefit from virtual reality driving training can be predicted, and what is an optimal training package to promote the development of safe driving skills for ASD adolescents. A successful outcome will allow parents and adolescents to know the probability of their eventual acquisition of safe driving skills, as well as effective ways to develop safe driving skills.

Funder

Funder

Department of Defense - Army

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2012-2015

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 6: What Does the Future Hold, Particularly for Adults?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 6LA. Develop at least two individualized community-based interventions that improve quality-of-life or health outcomes for the spectrum of adults with ASD by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $12,900,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of Iowa

State/Country

State/Country

Iowa

Project Number

Project Number

AR110115P1

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Federal

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 214498 | 2011 | AR110115P1
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 331421 | 2011 | AR110115
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 0 | 2012 | AR110115
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 0 | 2012 | AR110115P1
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 0 | 2015 | AR110115
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 0 | 2014 | AR110115
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 0 | 2014 | AR110115P1
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 0 | 2013 | AR110115
Evaluating and enhancing driving ability among teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | 0 | 2013 | AR110115P1

 
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