My son JT is 14 going on 15. He has always had a positive attitude on his disease. He stopped walking 1 1/2 years ago. Now is the time for permits and drivers ed. How do I break my sons heart and tell him he will not be able to do this? Am I wrong have any other boys gotten their license? Any advice would be welcomed, I do not look forward to having this conversation with my son! I hate this disease! It's one heart break after another for JT it seems lately!

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Hi Trisha, I don't have experience of this myself but I know for sure that there are some boys/men with DMD who drive. I've
seen the posts about the car adaptions somewhere (maybe facebook - sorry i follow so many threads about DMD I can't recall precisely where). Hoping that one of them (or a parent) sees your post and replies with the details.

Trisha,

I just asked the same question on FaceBook's D.M.D. Army page, and some young men can drive with adaptations.

A.

Hi Trisha and others,

The truth is some young men with DMD are able to drive a modified vehicle adapted with hand controls and others never have the strength.  There are agencies to help people with disabilities drive provided it is needed for employment and when they have the functional ability and good judgment to operate a vehicle.

Each state's Department of Vocational Rehabilitation should be part of a young man's transition plan when leaving high school and entering the workforce or going to college.  Voc Rehab's program is to help students with disabilities in employment including post secondary education (college) when needed for a particular career.  A case manager will interview the student before graduating high school to determine his career goals and whether it fits within their programs before developing an Employment Plan.  Where appropriate, Voc Rehab will assess a student's ability to drive and may pay for the adaptations and modifications to a vehicle for the student to attend college or for employment (Voc Rehab does not buy vehicles.).  Again, not all young men who have DMD have the strength or aptitude.

I urge you to speak with your son's Special Education Director to put you in contact with your state's Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to learn more about the programs offered (A case manager may be invited to an IEP meeting too).  If your son has an IEP his Team should be talking about Transition Services he will need based on his after high school goals.  These services need to be part of his IEP by age 16.  I don't believe it is too early to start learning about what programs are available based on your son's interests.

Best of luck.

Brian

Hello Trisha,

I am a girl with Duchenne and will be 24 in August.

I got my permit at 15, and license at 16.

There are hand controls that help those with weakened muscles be able to drive and operate a car.

No need to break your son's heart, I know he can do it! :)

Thank you everyone for the feedback! This has made me feel like there is a possibility for him! We are in the process looking into purchasing a van so maybe that should be one thing we look to add right away!

Of Course Trisha.

I'm sure it is something he can do! :)

I got my van about 3 years ago and it runs great!

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