Autistic drivers eligible for special notice on driver's license

San Antonio family working with DPS to launch campaign

By Isis Romero - Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio family is helping the Texas Department of Public Safety to launch an awareness campaign, about getting a special notice on the back of Texas driver's licenses, for those with speech impediments, autism, or other disabilities.

Sam Allen, and his mother Jennifer, are also working with the Texas DPS to train troopers and other law enforcement officials, on how to recognize and understand autistic drivers.

Sam was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism, at the age of 10.

"I have noticed that certain tasks or certain things can be much more difficult, than it would have been if I were neurotypical," Sam said.

A person with high-functioning autism like Sam's, means they may have trouble communicating, reading social cues, and may even have a sensitivity to certain stimuli like sounds and lights. 

Because of this, when Sam expressed an interest in wanting to drive several years ago, his mother worried about what could happen, if he ever got pulled over.

"For somebody on the spectrum, they don't sense these things, and they might be processing a little slower, as to what the officer is asking them to do," Jennifer said.

Although he's never been pulled over by law enforcement, Sam said he feels confident having the notice on the back of his license, if he ever does.

"I have kind of a safe feeling with me, knowing communication impediment with me on the back of my driver's license," Sam said.

In order to get "communication impediment" on the back of your driver's license, you must bring in a form filled out by a doctor, supporting your health condition.

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