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He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully happy together

It’s a Special Life | YouTube | Fair Use

Giovanna Binci - published on 09/24/21

Chloe and Jason are a beautiful reminder of what marriage is all about.

Chloe and Jason are an unusual couple. She has Down syndrome, and he has autism spectrum disorder and bipolar disorder, and they’re the happiest and most “in love” couple you can find.

“I can cook. So, I’m a married woman and I can cook. I can make black beans and rice, salad, and I can make spaghetti and meatballs. I can make hamburgers, some salad … Everything. Or French fries, something like that,” Chloe says. 

Defying stereotypes and limitations

This young woman from Atlanta prides herself on her cooking skills and generally on being a wife. Yet Chloe Bermudez knows a thing or two about stereotypes and labels.

For someone with Down syndrome, life is usually full of prohibitions, imposed limitations, and prejudices. Among them there’s often the familiar but heartless saying, “A life like that isn’t worth living.”

Fortunately, however, her life, which she shares on social media using the Instagram profile “It’s a special life,” proves the exact opposite. And for a special life, it also helps to have an equally special husband!

In April 2017, after a fabulous marriage proposal complete with a scavenger hunt through the city, the presence of family and friends, and a helicopter ride (I told you the guy was special!), she said “yes” to her then-boyfriend (now husband), Jason Ivey. 

Here’s the video, for all the young men looking for ideas and all the romantically minded women. I’m warning you to have tissues handy:

Happiness is really something special

Jason has autism spectrum disorder and bipolar disorder, but “I don’t get mad anymore because I work through that,” he said in a video interview with SBSK.

They admit to needing help managing certain parts of family life, such as budgeting (though I’d like to reassure these guys by saying that I, too, am really bad at that; to a point that’s true of a lot of people!). 

They’d like to have children, but while they wait for that to happen, they’re “practicing” singing lullabies to their doll Giselle. 

Otherwise, this family has everything going for it: spaghetti, lots of love, and even Bible verses on the frames of the house, as they describe in the caption under the construction photo. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Official Jason & Chloe (@itsaspeciallife)

It takes two — and a village

None of us can make it alone; we need others. This couple defies our concept of marriage—one based on “settling down” and “making it on your own.” It’s okay to seek independence and find your own way, but it doesn’t mean we don’t need the help of others around us as build our marriages and family life.

Many of us rely on our own capacities, while Jason and Chloe are more used to relying on others and reckoning with limits. Their life together reminds us that marriage cannot be judged by standard conventions. Perhaps it should be judged more by conviction, which is what they have when they answer with joy and gratitude in their eyes the question of where they see themselves in 60 years — “still together.”

AutismDisabilitiesDown Syndrome
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