As happens frequently, I had a post planned, but before jumping on WP to write it, I was checking my Facebook feed when I came across this article on a family suing a neighbor for their son being a “public nuisance.” You guessed it, the kid is autistic. I am completely disgusted. Who the freak does this? It’s one more indicator all the work we need to do as parents of autistic children towards understanding and acceptance. This disgusts me, and it also terrifies me.
Little Man’s main emotion is anger. Second to that is frustration. He lashes out. He yells. He punches and kicks walls. He throws his Legos at the ground. Outside of normal sibling wrestling, he’s never, ever directed any violent actions towards animals or people. Not. One. Single. Time. I do worry about his behavior, particularly when we are around people who don’t know him, or who don’t know he’s autistic. There is such a lack of compassion and understanding. I fear someone will misconstrue something he’s said or done. I fear people fearing him. If these people win this lawsuit, what will that mean for my Little Man and all autistic children out there?
I refuse to hide my child away just to make life easier for anyone else. We take him out to eat, to the movies, to sporting events, to school events, to church, to his sister’s performances and his brother’s meets/games. It’s not easy. Yes he has had full-blown meltdowns. Yes, it is embarrassing to get *those* looks. But we keep going, keep doing. It’s actually a form of therapy for him as someday he must be functional, on his own, in the real world. It’s hard, but it’s worth it for our family. He rides his bike up and down the street. He runs around the block. If any one of our neighbors ever had an issue with him, I would hope they would address the situation with compassion, and constructively.
I am disgusted that anyone would take a family to court, calling their autistic child a public nuisance, as if he’s something that should be hidden, kept away from others, taken out of society. I am disgusted anyone could be so selfish. I’ve lived near kids who were public nuisances. It had nothing to do with any diagnosis and everything to do with neglectful and/or absent parents, drugs, alcohol. But there are better ways to address the situation than filing a lawsuit.
The family with the autistic child moved out of the neighborhood over a year ago. I’m sad for them, that they felt they had to leave their home, were forced out. That’s just beyond comprehension. It’s bullying at its highest form.