Question

How to deal with a complaining neighbor regarding my Autistic child's melt downs?

I am a single mum with an 12 year old Autistic child who has loud melt downs. My neighbor complains about it and ive apologised to her and explained that my child is autistic and can't help it. I try to calm my child but when she's having a melt down nothing works. Im Very stressed out and worried that I will be evicted. If any one has been in the same situation and can give any advise or ideas that would be great.

Answer

I would write her a letter telling her about your child's condition, but don't focus too much on the condition itself. In a sense write about what your daily life is like and how difficult is it. Nicely tell her that when she complains it doesn't make things any better (make a copy of it too). Even though she is entitled to her peace in her home I would call the landlord and let them know about the situation and that you've written to her in hopes that the complaining would ease.

One the side, is there something particular that causes the meltdowns? Like is she playing with something shes not suppose to and you take it away? Or is it bed time and she doesn't want to go?

My son for the longest time would have extreme meltdowns, the hardest part was that there was no consoling him. In the grocery store, at home, a friends house...the location didn't matter. I never cared for what others thought, but my heart would break because he had no communication skills and couldn't tell me how he felt or what happened. I talked to a occupational therapist about it, and we tried massaging his legs and arms. Not all the time did it work, but it did sometimes.

If she falls to the floor while having a meltdown, turn off the t.v. or anything that is making noise. Even though she might be thrashing around lay next to her and hug her, and sing a lullaby or hum a tune that she likes. If she doesn't like the physical contact (as some don't) get something that she can use to get out her frustrations. Like a pillow or a bean bag chair. There was a child in my son's therapy sessions that during his meltdowns he would squeeze and hit the bean bag chair and once he was finished, he would return to the activity.

Feb 18 at 19:37

KILL HIM! CALL THE POPO ON HIM! TELL HIM HE"S A JERK

Feb 18 at 23:23

I have no experience with such matters, but an eviction for such a thing seems completely unethical. I would look into the laws of such a thing (as I'm sure medical conditions such as your daughter's has exceptions) and then tell your neighbour to shove his/her ignorance up his/her ****.

Feb 19 at 3:32

I'd print out some detailed information on autism for your neighbour so maybe she will understand why your daughter is having meltdowns.

As for being evicted, meltdowns/tantrum are a common symptom in autism. To evict you would likely be considered prejudice against your daughter and would be illegal.

Feb 19 at 8:4

you can give her autism cards to explain more in detail what autism is. you could try sensory calming items too. and if all else fails, get your neighbor soundproof earphones for christmas. (lol do realize i'm just joking with the last one and mean not to offend anyone)

and is your daughter on medication? it can really help with the meltdowns.

i wish you the best of luck

Feb 19 at 12:59

I can sympathize with you! I had to move because of a horrible neighbor who made my life h*** because of my son's noise. But, it all turned out for the best. We are MUCH happier in our new place. Things happen for a reason and if you end up moving it could be better for you and your daughter.

It does get a bit easier as they get older.....My son is 19 now and much calmer and happier. Early puberty was hard and then he calmed down. I hope you have the same experience.

Feb 19 at 18:18

I would call your landlord and be up front about your situation. Sometimes people can empathize with situations. Maybe something can work out between your landlord and with a human service agency.

I mean there are human service agencies that modify living situations for all sorts of people with disabilities. They could add sound proof walls between you and your neighbors.

I know agencies contract with local construction companies to help those in the community. You could even hint to your landlord, it could be a tax write off for the expense. "charity"

Feb 19 at 23:59

Never dealt with it before, but have you tryed actually setting her down and explaining to her what autism is? Have you explained to her that your child is easily discouraged, because of her autism and is going to have these type of break downs? Have you talked to her doctor about it, to see if there's anything to do to help prevent the break downs?

Feb 20 at 6:3