Next Stop: A Memoir of Family

Glen Finland, Author
Glen Finland. Putnam/Amy Einhorn, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-15860-5
Reviewed on: 03/12/2012
Release date: 03/29/2012
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-425-26103-3
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-57700-4
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-57644-1
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Families trying to find their way with autistic children and the tremendous demands the disorder puts on them create immeasurable fallout for others around them. Finland, mother to an autistic son, explores with unsparing honesty the heartbreak, regrets, and triumphs. The author describes herself as someone who “never claimed to be a good mother, just barely good enough.” Consumed by the need to look after David, she is at one of his appointments when her eldest son, angry and distant from years of being overlooked, is injured during a high school football game, with no one there to drive him to the emergency room. He retaliates by removing his photos from family collages and for years after they have virtually no relationship. When Finland and her husband get a couple of hours to themselves, where they can hold hands (something David objects to), they make a rule to not talk about him for two hours. The fact that David, who’s verbal and athletic, grows up to be one of the luckier adults with autism—earning a driver’s license, finding employment despite his disorder, and gaining a sense of independence—gives hope to the growing number of families struggling with autism and a voice to the misunderstood. Agent: Richard Abate. (Apr.)
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