Lesson 6: I’m Your Family Member, Not Your Lifelong Taxi Driver
Your teen’s transition into adulthood will happen—there is nothing you can do to postpone it, but there are many things you can do to prepare for it. An important factor in the next stage of your (non-driving) teen’s life will be a plan for how she is going to get around. Whether it is to work, college, her apartment, the grocery store, or any other place she’ll need to go, your teen will need a way to get around independently. Are you ready to give her the independence she needs and desires? I realize you may be reluctant to have your teen use public or solicited transportation, but ask yourself if you’re ready to be her lifetime taxi driver. As a team, we need to make sure she is learning independent travel skills. I need your assistance to make sure she has opportunities to practice getting herself places independently. It will also be important for you to encourage and support your teen as she increases her independence and learns to rely less on you.
(Teacher Name/Contact information)
Complete the activities and return your responses to your teen’s professional to review and respond to.
Activity 1: Current Transportation
Let’s take a look into how your teen gets places. How does your teen currently get to the following locations?
- grocery store
- friend’s house
- social activities (such as a birthday party)
- school related functions
- doctor’s appointments
- work (volunteer or paid)
How will your teen get to these same locations after she graduates high school?
Activity 2: Orientation and Mobility Skills
Read The Value of Strong Orientation and Mobility Skills and answer the following questions.
- What mobility skills is your teen’s O&M instructor working on?
- What mobility skills can you assist your teen in developing?
- What concerns do you have about your teen traveling independently?
Activity 3: Strengthening Transportation Skills
Complete one of the following activities with your teen and provide your professional with information on the outcome of the activity.
- Have your teen ask a friend (or relative) for a ride. Ask your teen to pay for the gas or show her gratitude by buying a cup of coffee for the driver.
- Have your teen arrange for, and take, a cab to a destination.
- Ride the bus with your teen. Discuss the benefits of riding the bus with your teen.
- Walk with your teen to the corner store.
- When your teen wants to get somewhere, instead of taking her have her find an alternate way to get there.
For additional information on preparing your teen for transition, read When Other Teens Are Learning to Drive and Your Child Isn’t
From completing this activity, I learned….
I would like more information on….
I have the following questions for my teen’s professional….
I am going to do the following things to prepare my teen for transition….