A game-changing exploration of what the future holds for the first generation of mainstreamed neurodiverse kids that is coming of age.
After sleepless nights, intensive research, and twenty-one years of raising a child, Ethan, with autism and intellectual disability, Cammie McGovern is approaching a distinct catch-22. Once Ethan turns twenty-two, he will fall off the Disability Cliff. By aging out of the school system, he'll lose access to most social, educational, and vocational resources. The catch is this: These resources, limited as they may be, have trained Ethan in skills for jobs that don't exist and a life he can't have.
Here, McGovern expands on her #1 New York Times
piece, Looking into the Future for a Child with Autism, a future that often appears grim, with statistics like an 85 percent unemployment rate for people with ID. McGovern spent a year traveling the country and looking at the options for work and housing--and to her surprise discovered reasons to be optimistic. She asks the tough questions: What should parents prioritize as they ready their children for adulthood? How do we redefine success for our children? How can we sustain a hopeful attitude while navigating one obstacle after another?
As Ethan makes his way into the world, McGovern also looks into the hardest question of all: How can we ensure an independent future when we're gone? Hard Landings
will serve as a renewed beacon of hope for parents who want to ensure the fullest life possible for their child's future.
About the Author
Cammie McGovern is the author of three novels for adults, including Eye Contact; two books for young adults, Say What You Will and A Step Toward Falling; and two books for middle-grade readers, Just My Luck and Chester and Gus. All feature young people with a variety of disabilities at the center. She has been widely honored for her work advocating on behalf of people with disabilities and is one of the founders of Whole Children/Milestones, a resource center for children and young adults with disabilities and their families in Hadley, Massachusetts.