Next Stop: A Memoir is the real story of the author and her family, including her youngest son, who is autistic and who rides the metro (the family lives in Washington, D.C.) as a training ground to find a job. The story is told as a series of essays on dealing with clueless teachers, hunting for the right school, again and again, raising the non-disabled children,venting frustrations (with a funny recollection of her own mother’s throwing eggs on the side of her garage — seems very therapeutic!), and finding unexpected allies, including the local police officer, all the while worrying about how her son will live once she and her husband are no longer in a position to help.
I always marvel at how immodest memoirs, especially family memoirs, can be, and this one is no exception, but it is refreshing to share what really happens in families. Perhaps if all of us were more open about what it’s like to raise children, disabled or otherwise, we would be able to help each other out when needed.