School starts Drivers Ed program for special needs teens

Mrs. Golden and students (Source: KAIT)
Mrs. Golden and students (Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Valley View Junior High special needs students got the chance to partake in a new Drivers Ed. program.

Adaptive Drivers Ed. is geared towards teaching special needs students how to drive.

In Mrs. Golden's class, students are learning the full package on how to drive, according to PTA member Jessica Sykes.

"This program came about because Mrs. Golden had the idea that she wants to help students become more independent," Sykes said. "First, they are going over the test. Anything that the test can ask you is what they are going over. So, what it is you need to know about driving, turn signals, stopping, what signs mean, anything a typical 14-year-old child is going to be learning to take their driver's test."

The PTA, including Sykes, worked diligently to help the students get hands-on practice while in the program.

The school district recently purchased a golf cart, now Mrs. Golden's students practice on campus streets.

Sykes said her son is special needs and he is in Mrs. Golden's class this year.

It never crossed her mind that her child would ever drive until now.

"Knowing as a parent that my child is going to have this available, he's going to learn how to drive and be more independent, it's just so exciting," she said. "Sometimes if you don't get the little nudge or push or told hey, they can do this, that it probably wouldn't have happened. It shows our children that they are capable of doing things just like their peers."

PTA members believe the new program will touch thousands of lives that walk through Mrs. Golden's door in years to come.

Sykes is hopeful that others pick up on the program.

"This is going to hit so many people's lives and make them better," she said. "You know, with her coming up with this, I hope it could spread to other parts of Arkansas and know that our students have that chance to learn to drive and be independent."

PTA members received positive feedback from students, teachers and parents.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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