The Neurotypical’s Meltdown

I am NOT a “visual person.”  My husband sees everything, even the hidden structure of a complex machine simply based on form, function, and the noise it makes.

My husband is NOT a “listener.”  I hear everything, even the raw truth betrayed by single word choice.

Yin and yang.  Peas and carrots.  Amy and Sheldon.

I may get the gold star for daily grinding, but he has saved my life more times than I can count, literally and figuratively.  If I am the trusty ole’ engine, he is the emergency brake always primed for action.

And friends, the emergency brake has been pulled.  A global pandemic activated it suddenly and all at once. 

I felt the world violently jolt and then stand still.

And here I am, once again, face-down in muck over which I have no control.  A feeling that my husband knows intimately.

As I look up, he is there with a dirty joke and toolbox full of strategies for living life in a world not built for me.  He steps out of the shadows with a polished skillset, the one he must keep hidden from others of my ilk.

Neurotypicals are trapped.  Isolated. Quarantined out of necessity for survival. 

We whose needs are met on the outside, whose strengths shine while in relationship with other people.  Our routines are obliterated and our friends are inaccessible.

We piercingly screech on social media, obsessively watch our choice of cable news for a script that makes sense, anxiously clean our houses, then deftly escape in search of “essentials” knowing that we could be putting our lives on the line. 

We cannot do what we do best. Our skills are no longer of importance. And we are relegated to a world over which we have no control and does not suit us.

It is there, in that dark, quiet, seemingly lifeless dwelling, that they wait for us.  The autistics.

They are thrilled to have us, their loved ones, slow down and look around their home.  To appreciate their chosen vocation.

They will show us their art, music, movies, and books.  If we pay close attention, they will demonstrate the peace that flows from learning about that which moves them, and the passion that erupts when they use that knowledge to create new worlds.

They will introduce us to their interests, friends that are engaging and reliable and always there when they need them.

And if we let them, they will plant a seed in our hearts and minds.  A fiery ember that, if we are lucky, will combust within us, rendering us with the same alternating peace and passion that compels them.

If you are neurotypical, confined in an autistic’s home, take heart.  Watch. Listen. Learn. Let them be your guide.

They will show you how to survive the unimaginable.

Written by, Michele I. Janssens

Michele I. Janssens is a 24-year veteran speech-language pathologist who works with autistic children during the day and goes home to her autistic husband at night.  Together, she and her husband, Corey, seek to uncover the raw and unvarnished memories, experiences, and inner life of one adult with autism, with the goal of increasing understanding and acceptance of autistic children, shielding them from unnecessary harm and broadening future opportunities.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, join our community, Coop’s Troops, for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

29 likes
Prev post: Letter to My Daughter on Her BirthdayNext post: How Does He Feel Loved?

Related posts

Join Coop’s Troop
Join Coop’s Troop

Become a Supporter of Finding Cooper's Voice and join our online community, Coop's Troop. Membership includes Facebook Lives with our family, giveaways and more.
JOIN NOW

About Me
About Me

Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

READ MORE

SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
FindingCoopersVoice
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
Sign up for Finding Cooper's Voice
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
Most Popular
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS