Posted Behind the Wheel with ADHD News

We are pleased to announce that our Behind the Wheel With ADHD program will be the featured Promising Practices profile in the December issue of Attitude Magazine!

Behind the Wheel With ADHD

Behind the Wheel With ADHD provides driving instructors with additional training to better understand the risks associated with ADHD and teen driving. Instructors are also trained in the use of new tools, technologies, and strategies designed to help teens with ADHD learn to drive more safely. This is very welcome news to their loved ones, many of whom are aware of the higher incidence of car accidents among young drivers with ADHD.1

Training involves both seminar participation and personal coaching.  Among the seminar topics: An overview of effective external tools that help teens compensate for executive function challenges when driving; strategies for effectively managing medication; empowering young drivers on ways to successfully handle encounters with police officers; an overview of the newest technologies for neutralizing risks associated with texting, cell phone use, or other potential driving related distractions; and instruction on how young drivers can a set of routines that can eliminate many of the risks associated with executive function challenges/ADHD and driving. As part of the training package, instructors also receive a written training manual which serves as a resource guide to effective tools, technologies, and strategies, such as those covered during the seminar and coaching sessions. The training manual is continually updated to include new advances in the field. Instructors wishing to pursue more advanced training can do so and earn certification as a Behind the Wheel With ADHD certified instructor.

Parents and teens can also download a new app designed to assist young teen drivers. The app reminds them of important steps to take before operating a vehicle. Steps are arranged in checklist fashion. Research shows checklists to be effective in improving driver safety. Parents are also provided a smart phone application that provides immediate feedback regarding their teen’s pre-trip routine.

The program highlights an enhanced Graduated Driver’s License program which offers specific recommendations to improve strategic competencies associated with driving skill.  This is more effective than the GDL currently being required in many states, with enhanced instruction for young drivers with ADHD and/or executive function challenges. Instruction is also provided on how to effectively reduce the effects of peer pressure or other peer-related influences when behind the wheel.

Behind the Wheel With ADHD is the brainchild of Gayle Sweeney and Ann Shanahan, both ADHD coaches who work extensively with teens, college students, and young adults The program is currently available to any privately owned driving school or any public, private, or parochial school that offers driver education. Parents wishing to enroll their teen in a driver education program offering this specialized training should check Gayle and Ann’s list of “Certified Driving Schools” on the program’s webpage ( or contact their local school or driving school and request that they contact Gayle or Ann to arrange for the training and certification. Visitors to the website can also learn more about the program, including costs as well as plans for expansion. Those wishing to learn more are also encouraged to contact Gayle or Ann directly either by e-mail or phone: (Gayle –; 630-674-2738; Ann –; 312-428-1133).


1Barkley, R.A. & Cox, D. (2007). A review of driving risks and impairments associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the effects of stimulant medication on driving performance. Journal of Safety Research, 38, 113-128.

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