Family with autistic son reacts to disturbing letter from neighborhood mother

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    When I lived in Georgia there was a family in our ward who had an autistic kid named Teddy. He made awkward, noisy outbursts constantly in sacrament meeting and other church meetings. It was odd, I admit, but you got used to it most of the time. His parents had a neighbor come and talk to them about the noise Teddy made in his (Teddy's) back yard, complaining about it.

    I almost busted out laughing one day when our bishop, in the middle of sacrament meeting, mentioned tongue-in-cheeek that Teddy's parents had this neighbor who complained about the noise Teddy made and my bishop suggested that Teddy's mom and dad should give him some pots and pans to bang on when he was hanging out in the back yard.

    No, it may not have been exactly what Christ would have recommended but it sure was funny.

    On a more serious note, I hope this family STANDS THEIR GROUND and does not move or give in to this neighbor. No, don't be mean, because then you lower yourself to their despicable standards, but definitely stand your ground!

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    As the mother of a child with autism, this is difficult to read. But I take heart in a few things. First of all, this story, which took place in another country, has gone viral. The vast majority of people I know find this behavior unacceptable.
    I have encountered people who have not understood and who, upon looking at my son, assumed that he is poorly disciplined and "spoiled". These people are ignorant. But I have also encountered people who have been kind. One time at McDonalds, my son was having a meltdown because he didn't appreciate the wording on his food packaging. A young boy, a few years older, came up and offered him a toy. My son rudely rejected the offer. I apologized to the boy and his mother and thanked them and explained that my son has autism. "So does my son", she said.
    All in all, my experiences with people have been positive. I see people wanting to learn and understand. People who are cruel and hateful seem to be the exception, at least to me. Maybe because my child is higher functioning. I worry about Junior High and High School, though.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    Sometimes people don't think of the consequences before they offend children such as this incident. What would Jesus want me to do? He would want me to be kind and show love for individuals of all types, no matter what age or abilities.

    With some books and media, there appears to be instant answers or results. That is not always the case as we all know someone and even ourselves who have limitations in some areas. Some people show problems outward and others have problems inward.

    It is sad that we partition people as we would our computer and segregate the world from our lives. At least in the United States of America we have experience of what segregating people and the impact that had through war and civil strife. We know the consequences even if some don't accept the change readily.

    We are a nation that is truly mixed with people from every nation, language and status. That is a blessing for our children to be in a non-compartmentalized world. Some nations have had their own civil wars for generation after generation and still on-going.

    We aren't perfect but most people are against bigotry.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:24 p.m.

    I can only imagine what kind of hatred and suffering the letter writer must have endured that made her sufficiently jaded and angry to write such a letter.

    The letter writer is to be pitied, not hated. All the hateful comments here are just people stooping to her level.

    How sad.

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:47 p.m.

    who ever wrote that letter,needs to be charged with.a hate crime that is so sad .they have no feelings for.the.better people

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:31 p.m.

    Life tip to the letter writer: hate mail is not a great way to win friends and influence people.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:49 p.m.

    This sounds like an uneducated, narrow-minded, cowardly person.
    Age doesn't matter.

    I have a high-functioning autistic son who deals relatively well in public, but an adult neighbor confided to one of my older kids that my son "creeps him out." (Of course that gossip is going to come back to me!)

    Some people just can't understand anything beyond their immediate surroundings, and the world is a weird, frightening place to them.
    A little education, a bit of patience, and an open heart changes everything.

    Unfortunately, many people simply won't make the effort. They'd rather destroy what they don't understand. No wonder we have so many problems in the world.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:56 p.m.


    That's a pretty accurate Hollywood stereotype, but it is just as likely to be someone younger. I'm not critical of your opinion, as plenty of people do in fact hold on to their bitterness tighter with age. But honestly I've met people who are 20-25 who have similar opinions and speak with just as rude demeanor.

  • AdK14 San Antonio, TX
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    Coming from a family with 2 autistic children, one of which is very low functioning, this is extremely hurtful. The lack of compassion shows a complete egotistical "mother" with no sense of responsibility to her own children to do the right thing.

    I love my brother and niece VERY much, no matter their social "pitfalls". The person who wrote this letter better be punished with the same scrutiny of any major offender in civil suits, or likewise. I was sickened to read the letter and know there is someone out there with that audacity to make such evil comments towards and innocent child.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    I'm betting it's a little old lady or little old man who is very unhappy in his or her own life.

  • No name Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    I also do not feel this is an act of a teenager. Nor do I feel that this woman is very educated or she would have the wherewithal to explain to her children the needs of this young man and would be more understanding of the situation. Instead she decided to cower behind the computer to verbally harass and threaten this young mans family. What a horrible thing to say about a child, and especially to guardians who have worked so hard to give their loved one a normal life. Shame on this woman. I am so disgusted. I am glad the police are looking into it and I hope they catch her.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    Having read the letter over several times, I doubt that it is a teenager. The language reads more like a college graduate or at the very least a high school grad. It is a shame and hopefully the letter writer gets help.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    Christopher B,

    You may be right. Even so, it needs to be taken seriously. And I agree with you. If it is a prank, it's not ok or harmless.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    My guess is this is a teenage prank.

    And before you all freak out, did I say it was ok?

    I simply said my guess is this is a teenage prank.