They're learning to drive young these days. Of course I jest... O the belly laugh we have. In all seriousness though, for little Mr. to sit in the front seat of my car these days is a massive progression. Let me go into a little more detail to the why part.
When he was born I had not long bought a 3-year-old Vauxhall Zafira, yes one of those cars that had the issue of setting on fire. It was a fantastic car though, a joy to drive. Little Mr. always was placed behind the driver's seat, a place where he is still until today.
As time went on, he knew our car. He had only ever been in the one car. He knew it, it felt comfortable and safe. We found out, the loud way, that he didn't like any other car. When my wife had friends come round and they would go out with the kids; he would resist getting into their car, cry for the entire time and not be happy until he was out.
This went on for a few years. We also found out, at that time, that if he was placed in any other position in our car, the same thing, he would scream and cry. This included trying to put him in the front seat. This was before we got the diagnosis of ASD, so it all makes sense to us now.
As he got older, this past 2 years anyhow, things started to change. He started to accept going in other cars. He has no issue going in the back seat of any other car today, which is great as my wife also has a car now; but also because I sold on that Zafira and have another car - that could have been tricky.
He did still have his routine of sitting in the same place. He still resisted going in any other space including the front. However, these last few months that seems to have started to change. He wants to investigate now and so climbs over to the front when his seatbelt is taken off. The good thing is that he sits nice and still while the seatbelt is on.
He climbs over and sits in the driver's seat - all proud. He likes to look around and investigate. You may see that this is a big step for him. He has tackled his fear, broken those chains and investigated, finding he loves that space. Just like a neurotypical child may do, he sits there. Though not making any Brrrmmm noises like I used to.
If a young child like our little Mr. can tackle a fear, break those bonds and put himself in a place that is uncomfortable; maybe we all can. Maybe we should take a leaf out of his book and go for it. I may joke and say 'They're learning to drive young these days' but it certainly has a bigger meaning to him.