Welcome …

The Beanisons are husband and wife team Teresa Benison and David Bottomley.

David could be labelled as being on the Autistic spectrum and he certainly doesn’t fit any of the gender stereotypes.

Teresa is unrelentingly neurotypical, most definitely a girl yet a dab-hand with a screwdriver.

Learning to live together in harmony has been, and continues to be, a challenge for them both. The good news is that by working together, they have increased their mutual understanding of difference and learnt to celebrate that difference. Indeed, understanding is at the heart of their success, and talking is their key to understanding.

Understanding is also at the heart of this website. David and Teresa know that they are not alone, that there are other people out there who are struggling to understand one another. This website is here because they would like to help. You are not alone.

What is ‘normal’?

‘Normal’ is a label we often use because we all think we know what it means. But do we? What does it mean to be normal?
Human beings are not clones and trying to be ‘normal’, or expecting somebody else to be ‘normal’ just doesn’t work. It’s easy to generalise about how other people feel or think, but we cannot truly know. The reality is that however similar we may seem on the surface, underneath we are all different.

Vive la differénce!

When a person’s difference is marked enough to be noticed by those around them, they are often labelled as being ‘not normal’. David has spent his entire life with that particular label used against him.

Trying to fit someone else's definition of normal, or expecting someone else to fit your definition of normal, is a recipe for disaster. The greater the difference, the greater the likelihood that the stress resulting from an individual’s efforts to fit in, to be ‘normal’,  will have a severe impact on their relationship with partners and family members.

Does any of this sound familiar?  If so, you have come to the right place, Beanisons celebrate the challenges of difference.

This website, together with the helping/mentoring services the Beanisons are able to provide, offers a safe place to to explore and understand difference, to celebrate its strengths and learn to live with its difficulties.

Most of all, we don’t want to fix a label on anyone. In our experience the greatest need is for knowledge and understanding. We want to help everyone, including partners and family members, to understand their differences better and to find their own way forward.

Remember,

we’ve been there, we’ve felt that, and we know talking helps.

Indeed,

We are there, we feel that and we talk to each other all the time because it really does help.