This book cannot be returned.
Neuro Typical is a free-flowing autobiographical account - an ongoing story of what it is like for an already obtuse family to live around mental illness, relentlessly. Prompted by a 24-year-old son's comment, "Mum, you have no idea how privileged you are not to have mental illness", the author decided to write, in real time, a journey as a family today, the voyage an ongoing plethora of peculiarity, since two of "Ned's" other brothers in the household are autistic to boot.
Neuro Typical is an intentional unstructured diary, and includes memories of the past, which counterbalance the "live" accounts which dart in and out as the brothers interrupt their mother as she writes.
The life experiences and perspectives of the participants reveal a complicated and unusual family set-up, the coping mechanisms, and the stances adopted, some organic, others knee-jerk reactions, that have helped to create a sense of normalcy to the four brothers at least, to combat the outside world. As a family, they inhabit a place where expectations have had to shift constantly, where conforming became anathema.
Ned, who has been ill with severe mental illness for over 10 years since a pre-teen, is the most vocal of the boys, as he vehemently darts in and out of the narrative in inverted commas, partly, in reality, from the nature of his obsessive illness. His voice tells the inside story; what it is like to live within his own head, his experiences of hospitalisation and "sections", the medication, and then just being a boy with such a label and all that entails. Just being a boy.
Neuro Typical is written against the backdrop of the internet age, social media and all it offers, with both positive and negative outcomes, where even buying online has its consequences, and within a confusing enough world where parents and offspring are attempting to meet in an ever-developing technological era.