Supported Living

Laura is Learning to Drive

November 15, 2016
woman sits in go-kart
Laura practices her driving skills at the go-kart track.

For many people, learning how to drive is a rite of passage on the road toward independence. Laura has wanted to work on the skills needed to drive for a long time. Krista Rowden, site manager at the apartment building in which Laura lives, says, “Laura and her planning team felt that this year it would be appropriate for her to start learning how to drive – but slowly with the use of go-karts instead of an actual vehicle. Laura says she just likes the feeling of driving and hopes to drive around town one day in her own car.”

Laura went out on the go-kart track for the first time in late October. “It was exciting!” says Laura. “And fun, too!” So far, she likes driving and thinks it is “not that hard.” When asked if she drove fast or slow, she grinned and responded, “fast!”

Lindyanne Harvey, direct support professional, accompanied Laura on her first go-kart adventure and shares her experience on the five-minute ride. “On our first ride, we were in a double-seated go-cart. Laura already knew which pedal was go and which was stop. I suggested to her different ways of improving her turns because she kept going toward the barrier in the middle. She would turn until I was sure we would hit the barrier and then she would correct the kart at the last second. I had my hand over my mouth almost the whole time. I don’t think she understood that my hand was on my mouth out of fear because she kept saying, ‘Don’t throw up, Lindy.’ I assured her that I would not.” Lindy says after the ride was over, Laura asked

close-up of woman sitting in a go-kart
She looks like shes having fun!

her how her stomach was.

“Laura’s a very caring person, so she was concerned about me. Also after the ride, she said ‘Don’t worry, I wasn’t going to kill us,’” laughs Lindy. When the go-kart ride was done and it was time for Lindy to drive them back to Laura’s apartment, Lindy demonstrated things like adjusting the mirrors and seats before starting the car. “On the way home I asked Laura to tell me every time she saw a speed limit sign. I explained different lines on the road. I know she is able to retain this information and I know she can improve. Overall, I think it was a good experience for her.”

Laura said she is already looking forward to the next trip around the track. When asked where the first place she would drive should she get her driver’s license, she responded, “the license bureau and then Pizza Hut.”