Nora Blake was desperate. Her autistic son had just been assigned to a third new school in three years. He would spend two hours a day commuting from Charlestown to an unfamiliar school in Brighton. This was not what she expected, living in Boston. She was ready to move.
“I was driving to work, just in tears, pulled out my cellphone and just called him,” said Blake. “Him” was John R. Connolly, then a city councilor who had been helpful on a neighborhood issue. He reassured her. He knew a mother of an autistic son at the school so he put Blake in touch. The women became friends. The school proved a good fit.