Autism and Neighbors

Autism and Neighbors

Autism and Neighbors

You could say that this blog is a follow up to my previous blog, “Autism and Too Much Stuff.”

Both of those blogs are similar because of two separate yet related articles (both with similar themes) that inspired me to write.

The first blog was inspired about an article about a family with a bunch of play structures in their yard. The family received a letter from “neighbors” complaining that they had too many play structures.

Apparently, the neighbors didn’t know (or didn’t ask) WHY the family had the play structures (besides the fact that they have kids that like to play!) The structures were used for OT for their child with autism.

This blog was inspired by a second article about a letter from “neighbors.” These neighbors sent a letter to a family with a severely autistic child demanding they move out.

Why?

Both articles have similar themes…neighbors and tolerance.

What’s my viewpoint?

After meeting my husband, who is a real property attorney, I began to understand something that he had learned through his job. His cases sometimes deal with neighbors in conflict.

He would say to me, “Try hard to get along with your neighbors.”

The first blog I wrote had to do with neighbors who apparently thought this one family had too many play structures in their yard. The family has a child with autism and that child uses the structures for OT.

If only the neighbors asked why the family had the play structures, or if they did ask, they could feel some sympathy for a family with a special needs child.

Which leads me to the second article…

Okay, you really do not have to get along with your neighbors.

You don’t even have to like them.

But, you do have to LIVE around them.

What about a dog that barks too much?

Neighbors will complain.

What about a messy yard?

Neighbors will complain.

What about playing music too loudly inside your home?

Neighbors will complain.

What about doing some work at your home, putting in a new kitchen or new landscaping?

Neighbors will complain.

But, it is right to complain in the first place?

Those are the neighbors, in my opinion, with the issues…not the other folks. Dogs will bark. Lawn mowers will make noise. Kids will yell, cry, whatever. City repair people will come to work on telephone lines (or wherever). People will have work done in their homes.

People will play music. You really have no right to say, “Turn it down.” Yes, you can call the police and they came take time out of their more pressing needs to come and politely ask the neighbors to lower the volume…Or, you can get to know your neighbors and work it out together.

Where do “neighbors” get the right to ASK a family to move out? Because of a special needs child? That, what, makes them uncomfortable???

I am outraged.

If I lived there, I would side with the family who struggles with a severely autistic individual. I know it’s a daily struggle. I get it. There is no reason to add my little tics to their problems. The “neighbors” said they person with autism sometimes screams. So does a police siren. Don’t helicopters make noise? Tree trimmers? The garbage truck?

Geez, deal with the situation with an ounce of compassion.

Maybe even help.

This situation was so disturbing that the police got involved and are considering charges of discrimination against those “neighbors.”

I am steamed. Live near people to the best of your ability. Try to understand the world through their eyes.

“Just leave” is not a solution.

If I don’t like how you always wear football jerseys, should I insist you leave?

What about your noisy car with the muffler that needs to be replaced that I can hear inside my place?

Leave, leave, leave.   

Push aside the problem because you don’t want to deal with it? Or, be reasonable. Or, be…compassionate?

It’s a big problem today. Compassion. Sympathy. Understanding. Tolerance.

“Go away” is simply the wrong way to solve this problem. Please, try harder.

You can do it! (If you try.)

Autism and Neighbors

Here’s a great article about autism and neighbors:

http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/autism-educate-thy-neighbor-900093872

 

 

More on Kimberly Kaplan:

To purchase “Two Years Autism Blogs Featured on ModernMom.com”

or “A Parentsʼ Guide to Early Autism Intervention” visit Amazon (print or digital) or Smashwords   

Twitter: tipsautismmom          

LinkedIn: Kimberly Kaplan

You can also find this autism blog on ModernMom.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Autism and Neighbors