The Ride Together covers the period between 1953 and 2001. It presents an intact family of two parents, three sons, and a daughter and highlights how the children's lives are affected by having a sibling who is "different." This sibling could embarrass his brothers and sister at any point. As Judy writes "my adventure in normal life was ending. I would need to be able to predict with some certainty that the friends I invited over the house could handle David, that they would be cool enough to act as though he was like everyone else if he was having a good day, that they would be smart and fast enough to get out of the way if he was upset." This phenomenon doesn't change throughout Judy's life: "All that week, even through my brother and I rarely spoke, when we did it was in the code of David, I was aware of him all the time. Whether I was on the porch, or in the living room, or cooking supper, I knew exactly where David was inside the great block of the house and what he was doing. It was something like a hangover, a minor, slightly painful distracting all day headache."