By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A third of teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder are successfully getting behind the wheel according to a new local study.

Driving is an important milestone in a teen’s life and for many with Autism Spectrum Disorder that driver’s license can be a ticket into society according to Dr. Allison Curry, a senior scientist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Many of these teens feel disconnected and don’t engage in the community, so encouraging driving among these teens when appropriate, will really help their mobility, will foster their independence and improve their ability to engage with their community and participate in social events,” said Curry.

Although, Curry suggests parents should plan ahead for the process.

“Having goals about driving added to your teens individualized education plan a full one to two years before the age at which teens become eligible for a permit,” she said. “The second is to seek out the advice either of an occupational therapists who specializes in driving, or a certified rehabilitation driving specialist.”

If you have any concerns, check with your teen’s doctor.

She suggests parents discuss the idea with a physician, plan for the process and employ the services of a driving teacher who specializes in instructing people with special needs.

Some links that could be useful for parents of children with ASD looking to drive are, and