Owen's father contacted me in June 2010 enquiring about driving lessons and explaining that his son was Dyslexic. I'd taught a number of people with Dyslexia who'd struggled with driving previously but had gone on to pass their driving test with me. One young lady had failed her theory test 9 times before passing it on her first attempt with me. It became clear on Owen's first lesson with me that he basically could drive a car but there were far too many gear changes involved and not enough mirror checks.
Over the period of lessons Owen developed his drive into a very smooth and competent drive. Owen struggled with the theory and hazard perception test and was given extra time and a reader for the test. The hazard perception test was particularly difficult for Owen to comprehend because it was asking for him to look for hazards that were appearing on a video on a computer screen and I can remember lesson after lesson when Owen would say to me "well, I would react to it if I was driving, but I'm not, I'm sat in front of a computer".
Owen passed his driving test in January 2012 and is now positive about his future career aspirations.
Here I ask him a few questions about his experience of learning to drive with me:
You're father contacted me initially, why were you looking for a new instructor?
The last instructor was not very good with my needs. She wasn't in the right job to work with people with Dyslexia or other learning difficulties and she didn't understand the best way to teach me.
Why do you think he contacted me?
My dad researched and tried to find the right person for me. A person who understood my needs.
How long had you been learning to drive before you met me?
I'd been learning to drive for a long time, it was about 10 years.
Can you tell me about your Dyslexia?
I am Dyslexic, my eye and coordination skills are not good.
You'd had quite a few instructors before you met me how did I differ from the others?
I'd had about 12 instructors before I met you. You tried to get knowledgable with my situation by contacting the British Dyslexia Association and tried to teach the best method for me. All my other driving instructors were much older than me and I was able to relate to you a lot easier.
You passed your theory test with me - I'm interested to know what you think about my approach to theory training?
I think it's good because you alternated between driving and theory in the lesson, I need to do something practical to remember what to do.
You've been to university, what did you study and what assistance did you get there?
Equine Sport Science, I had one to one assistance, mainly it was a practical course though so I managed OK.
How do you think your life will change now that you've passed your driving test?
I should be able to get employment now, the career I want to do in the catering industry involves weird hours and I will need to be able to drive.
Would you consider that you got good value for money learning to drive with me?
Yes, you explained things in detail to me and made sure I understood.
Is there anything you would have liked me to have done differently?
No, if there was anything I didn't understand at the time I asked you.
Thanks Owen for taking the time to talk to me and all the best wishes for the future!