Book 3 Reviews

ADI News MAY 2011 taken from review by Stuart Walker.

John is certainly well qualified and extremely passionate about this subject .The book is intended to help both examiners and instructors become more aware of the new challenges facing those with Hidden Difficulties and to assist those with limited knowledge of various problems to understand how some clients experience Independent Driving and to care about why they may be disadvantaged if inappropriate methods are being used.

There are very few books targeted towards these topics within the learning to drive context and this book tackles something which does not have a huge focus within the ADI qualification syllabus. It therefore covers a gap in an ADI’s development by highlighting a range of conditions and the effects these have on learning to drive including Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Autistic Spectrum Condition and Aspergers.

Importantly the author makes a very clear point that it is beyond the remit of an ADI to even attempt to diagnose these conditions which are often hidden, and that ADIs should certainly not label pupils with any condition. However, raising an awareness of the conditions and their effects on learning can only be a good thing in helping to adapt teaching methods and strategies more effectively to suit the pupil’s needs.

It certainly does raise awareness and whilst reading it I found myself thinking back to my previous pupils and the difficulties some of them had with learning to drive – I couldn’t help but wonder if some of these had Hidden Difficulties. Adapting my teaching to their preferred learning styles worked more often than not, but even having adapted my methods and strategies there was always a small number that it did not work out for. These are the ones I remember and I found the book to be a great reflective exercise and the topics covered add another dimension to this reflexion

I found it good for CPD and with this in mind I would certainly recommend it.  The points made are concise relevant and stay on track. Whilst I found myself prompted to reflect on past experiences, I also found myself wanting to go back and re-read some key points, but better text spacing would have allowed the reader to more readily pick out key information.

Worth £3-99 for raising awareness of Hidden Difficulties and the reflexion it prompts and the potential benefits this improved knowledge and understanding can bring.



I have learnt a great deal. The dyslexia part was a far better explanation than I have ever seen in a book before.
It confirms that we "mainstream instructors" experience the same signs and difficulties in pupils and can gain from your experience and apply this to our pupils.
If ever any instructor feels a bit jaded, then a read page 27 should re-inspire any instructor. The bit that does it for me is "Always look "beneath" and the "hidden" will soon become clear." That’s the key to teaching any pupil, and probably the most important skill any instructor can possess.
Don't you dare give up writing books, John! We are all the richer for them.        (C)



This book is a must for all instructors, we all have at least one pupil that has 'Hidden Difficulties' that can challenge our teaching skills. Every driving examiner, sorry, every employee of the DSA should be made to read this book. It should also be included in the instructors training manual as a compulsory subject to be covered for qualification.       ( J)



It is a must read, even if one is not an aficionado.
This book won't change anything with regard to the DSA, however it's the wider audience that need to be targeted, and for me that's what THIS book is all about.    (A)



John Farlam’s Smart Driving News 11/6/11

The introduction of independent driving has caused problems for many learners who don't fit the mould and who’s differences make it difficult for them to work within the 'mainstream norm'. To help them you might be interested in John Brown's latest book "Driving is Independence". John's book looks at a range of conditions and approaches that can help and specifically targets the independent driving element of the driving test.  I really like the information and John’s knowledge in this field in our industry is unparalleled.