Welcome to REAL Mixed-Neurological Relationships!
REAL stands for Resources and Education about Autism and Love.
I’m typically developing and have 21 years of personal experience with neurodiverse marriage as well as 46 years of personal experience with neurodiverse close family relationships. All of my personal autism experience is with people who have intelligent high-functioning autism.
What are the goals of REAL?
- I’m committed to creating and distributing positive online resources that people in neurodiverse relationships can use to improve their lives right now. See the resources tab on the menu bar.
- I provide education about neruodiverse relationships through my YouTube channel, my online course and my blog.
- I offer personalized growth coaching, parenting coaching, and divorce services. A majority of my clients are typically developing adults in neurodiverse marriages. I am also happy to work with people who have autism. Some of my clients work on personal growth while they stay in their mixed relationships and many use my support during divorce. I work with individuals — not couples. I do not do couples counseling or offer resources that I believe will improve neurodiverse marriages.
- I am aware that many neurodiverse relationships include financial abuse and I know that not everyone can afford my personalized services. I am committed to offering my online course at an affordable price. If money’s really tight, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a coupon.
It’s a marriage between a typically developing person (aka “neurotypical”) and a person with high-functioning autism, or autism without language or intellectual impairment.
There are more of these marriages than most people think. Between 1 and 40 and 1 and 68 children have autism and guess what? Children with autism grow up into adults with autism. I know…. unbelievable…. (wink….).
Contrary to popular belief, many many people with autism are very emotional and desire marriage and families — just like the rest of us. Yet sadly, there is scant acknowledgement by the professional community that neurodiverse marriages even exist.
I don’t know where the idea that people with autism are all introverted engineers came from, but I disagree. First of all, there are lots of engineers who don’t have autism (and lots who do!) and there are lots of people with autism who aren’t introverts. There’s a difference between having a difficult time understanding social relationships and always wanting to be alone.
It is true that some people with autism prefer to be alone — just like some typically developing people do. But how many people do you know who never want to have an intimate adult partnership? Many? Any?
I think more research needs to be done and more services need to be made available for both partners in these mixed marriages. I am grateful for the autism awareness movement and what it’s done to increase the amount of autism services. I think typically developing partners in mixed marriages also need services. I think their perspectives need to be known well enough for mental health professionals, families, communities, religious leaders and court professionals to offer the support and assistance necessary to ensure both partners are equally cared for and that children’s needs are met.
I care about the partners with autism and the typically developing partners… equally.
Mostly, at REAL, I think the world needs to know a lot more about what neurodiverse relationships are like from the inside. These are mixed relationships every bit as much as mixed-orientation or mixed-faith relationships. The difference is that in neurodiverse mixed relationships the incompatibilities aren’t sexual orientation or religious belief, but neurologically based communication differences that have a profound impact on both members of the partnerships and their children.
After all, communication is fundamental to marriage and close family relationships.