Autism & Driving


Today a miracle happened well ok not a miracle but something exciting in the world of cars and autism with Chef Justin! He actually indicated that he liked a car. A lime green challenger with black racing stripes. The Ben Ten Car ! I have been telling him he’s getting a smart car painted like a little tykes car.




To understand why this is so important let me give you a little backstory on me and my family. I have always much to my families chagrin been obsessed with cars.

Now keep in mind I was adopted as a child into a family that loved each other but every holiday was used to debate Fords pronounced FERDS and Chevrolets pronounced Chivalays. 

Only later in life would I find out I was a moonshiners granddaughter and cars with glass packs were music to my soul from the tobacco fields of North Carolina.  Matador Red , Granada Gold and Fancy Plum were the colors of the cars of my childhood. Nothing was better than my paw paws 1965 Chevrolet stepside.

NASCAR was just getting traction but drag strips and dirt tracks were abundant. Even now some 50 years later, when we are looking through old pictures I can identify what year it was by who was driving what car for example in one picture my brother thought that it was in the early 80s but I knew it wasn’t because my aunt Betty Joe was driving her 1974 Granada gold Cadillac and she liked a new car every three years.

In another  picture, my cousin Mike had just bought a Subaru. I don’t think my grandpa talk to him for a year after that   We had big station wagon’s with wood paneling to two-tone Ford trucks and all the sports cars we had a 67 Camaro in our family and a Javelin  it was my cousin Joan’s    If it was fast I wanted it to go faster.

Maybe it started the first Christmas I got the hot pink car that Miss Beasley drove or maybe it was the next year when I got the Mach 5 Speed Racers car or the Batmobile . Steve Mcqueens car in bullet was great even if it was green and a Ford.

My first car I learned to drive in was a 1969 Chevelle with a 396. Merlot was the color with black rolled and pleated interior. My dad thought everyone had to work on their own car so you got a Chilton book , a tool box and whatever money you could earn to make your car run.

I traded a 67 Mustang on a 1982 Transam in high school big mistake. I would love to have that mustang back and I’m not even a ford girl.  As the mom of five boys I have always been happy to share my love of cars but a lot of their generation wasn’t interested. They look at it like transportation. It has never represented freedom to them as it did us. Two of my five speak car like I do but now my new generation loves them like I do. They are always ready for hot wheels or the dirt track. It makes my heart happy.

Justin has never really expressed any interest in driving. We have been working on it but he’s pretty reluctant. I want him to learn because we live in a rural are with no door dash , grub hub or grocery delivery. Driving is independence.

It thrilled me for him to point out the challenger and talk about it today. I’m not real sure who Ben is in the cartoon world but he’s a 10 in my book if he’s driving that. If that gets Chef Justin to drive so be it. As for me well I’m a silver haired grandma now, where did the time go ? You’ll find me out driving slowly in  a  2013 Dodge Charger RT. A regular Saint. Okay okay not quite. Fine we pass everything but the gas station and drive it like I stole it every chance I get. I shall not teach Justin to drive but a patient drivers Ed person whose maximum speed is 55 will.

The minute he gets his license if that’s the car he wants that’s the car we will get. He will overcome his fear of driving we hope and learn just how freeing it can be. Gotta go we are East down and bound ❤️