• Understanding Autism from the Inside

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I Should Not Drive When I Don’t Feel Well

I’ve noticed a correlation between my driving and how overloaded I am feeling.

When I am overloaded the sun is a little too bright even behind the clouds, my focus is divided, I miss my turns, and become jumpy when I hear car horns honk. I always feel like they are honking at me because I missed something I should have noticed on the road.

But the number one thing I’ve noticed about when I’m not feeling quite right is that I tend to”bump”things. I bump the trash can on my way out of the parking spot; I bump the tree when backing up, and most often I misjudge my turns, either taking them too wide or cutting them too close, and I bump the curb.

Well, today I left the house for my doctors appointment and I was feeling terrible. Every smell in the house was overwhelming me causing my gag reflex to go into over drive.

I got in the car nauseous, and flustered from wrestling Tantrum Tot into the van. It was extremely cloudy out today but was still too bright for me, so I slipped on my shades.

After two missed turns on the way to my mother’s house with only one block to go to drop off the little guy, I was forced to cut the last turn too tight. Of course I “bumped”the curb with my back tire. This was the result:

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Yup, blew out the tire. Drove one block to my mother’s house on this thing where I was stranded.

In my defense there was a car taking up both sides of the road which caused me to have to turn so close to the curb, but that bump should not have blown out the tire, not if the tire was any good in the first place.

We are terrible at all things maintenance related, which includes remembering to take notice of things like the conditions of tires, or the last time we had the oil changed.

How do”normal”people remember all of the many details to navigate life without always living on the brink of chaos anyway?

Seemingly simple things like changing the oil in the car regularly feels an impossible task. I usually don’t realize I need to change it until the flashing oil light comes on, or when I suddenly remember that almost a year had gone by since the last time I visited the jiffy lube.

Upon examining my tire,I realized that it was completely worn down with no thread left whatsoever. My other rear tire looked the same and had almost no air! How have I been able to drive with tires like this? It’s probably a good job that I’ve noticed it now as this could get very dangerous, not just for me, but for other people around me too. My friend regularly gets her MINI Cooper serviced by this MINI Cooper repair in Norcross and they always make sure that her car is safe enough to drive. I definitely need to consider doing the same as I don’t want to be driving in a car that has a lot of problems, especially when it concerns the tires.

It occurred to me that I haven’t changed a tire, or even thought about a tire on my van since October…not the one that just passed either, October of 2011!

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.