There are two bedrooms in the cozy Jackson, Mississippi, apartment: Dave Hamrick’s is like a dad’s den, with a striped beige armchair and a hanging map; Lindsey Nebeker’s is darkly girly, with spiky dried roses hung over a bed topped by a graphic leaf-print quilt. After work on any given evening, Dave and Lindsey are likely to be orbiting the home separately, doing their own thing. Dave may be flipping through magazines, pausing to stare fixedly at design details or leaning in to inhale the scent of the pages. Lindsey typically sits down to eat alone—from a particular plate with a particular napkin placed just so—and may slip so deeply into her own world that Dave has learned to whisper “Psst…” when he approaches so as to not startle her and, on a bad night, make her scream.
An observer might assume the two are amicable, if oddball, roommates. But Lindsey, 27, and Dave, 29, are deeply in love. And they are autistic. Every day of their relationship, these two beat tremendous odds. That’s because the very definition of autism suggests that for adults with this disorder, love—especially the lasting, live-in kind like Lindsey and Dave’s—is not in the cards at all…read the full story