The Ride Together

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

David isn’t like most people. He performs television shows such as Meet the Press and Sergeant Bilko, writes his own television synopsis, performs commercials and communicates in a language that most people would not understand. David has autism.

In The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister’s Memoir of Autism in the Family, David grows from being a child to adulthood while continuing to be dependent upon others to take care of him. He watches as family members leave home to establish their own lives and families, and continues on with his own quiet dignity.

Judy and Paul Karasik take turns telling the story of growing up with David—one with pictures and the other with words. Growing up with a family member who has a disability is demanding. That challenge is first recognized when they become aware that their parents treated David differently. David didn’t have to pick up his room or empty the trash or wash the dishes. At that point, the struggle with not being a normal family begins. They have to be careful of friends that they pick and bring home. They talk about their embarrassment of a brother who was different and not wanting to always explain to friends about David. Yet, they learn valuable lessons from David such as accepting what life has given to them and enduring through good and bad times. Another important lesson was that independence meant being able to take of themselves and the people in their lives.

The Ride Together is a remarkable journey. The two unique voices of the authors are woven together to create a seamless tale. The book is truly a ride together in that readers experience life in a family with a disability.