It all started with a trip to the funfair, complete with its overload of noise, lights and crashing machinery, and a casual remark from my bemused oldest: “what is this neurotypical nonsense?”
And so, the Big List of Neurotypical Nonsense was born. And we’re going to share some of it here.
Neurotypical nonsense is, according to my two proudly Autism spectrum teens, anything so ludicrously head-wrecking it could never have been invented by an Autistic person*. Because if it had been it wouldn’t be anywhere close to being such a melt.
This is their blog: it’s the work of Leah (oldest) and Zoe (youngest) with only very minor help from me, their very-probably-not-entirely-Neurotypical-either dad.
Proudly presenting, then, your guide to neurotypical nonsense by Leah and Zoe…
Neurotypical Nonsense: The List of Shame
• Airplanes: “They make zero sense, shouldn’t be able to work and if they’re such an incredible, genius idea you’d think they’d be quieter” – Leah
• Clocks that make noise: “Nothing good makes the same noise repeatedly in your ear for no good reason” – Zoe
• People having dinner together: “Talk or eat…not both” – Leah
• Socks: “Only a neurotypical person would invent something to put on your feet that feels like a scratchy towel” – Zoe
• Holidays: “You leave a comfy house for a less comfy room plus the beds are always weird and uncomfortable and deep down everyone knows it” – Leah
• Paper straws: “These feel weird for a bit then dissolve…just why?!” – Zoe
• Refrigerating food: “It shouldn’t work because you can’t stop time” – Leah
• Sticky tape that isn’t sticky enough: “Did no one think ‘wait does this stick’?” – Zoe
• Not talking about hobbies much: “Neurotypicals would get much better Christmas presents if they copied us on this” – Leah
• School canteens: “Pretty much just a concert for chewing noises” – Zoe
You get the idea.
Neurotypical Nonsense: A Note
*Whether or not an Autistic person invented these things or not is, of course, tongue in cheek.
An example: while Leah wrote the funfair off as a neurotypical torture chamber, Zoe ran straight for the most ridiculously fast and terrifying machinery they had.
This is because, and it’s almost a cliché now to say so, if you’ve met one Autistic person…you’ve met one Autistic person.
I hope you enjoyed a few minutes in Leah and Zoe’s shoes. Happy neurotypical nonsense spotting!
Photo by Mikhail Nilov is licensed under CC0
Conor Johnston writes about subjects including mental health, culture, identity and media.
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