By all accounts, raising an autistic child can be incredibly challenging – and that’s not even taking into account the attentions of high-and-mighty neighbours who consider your child an “it”.
27-year-old Jessica Green has two children: Halle, aged seven, and Henry, aged three. Henry has been diagnosed with autism, and Jessica has taken up the role of full-time carer for the young boy, who communicates through various noises rather than normal speech.
Jessica understands that Henry’s noises can sound odd or worrisome to strangers, but she didn’t even get a chance to explain the circumstances when she discovered an anonymous note abusing her for the way Henry acts. Furious, Jessica posted a picture of the full note to her Facebook page.
“Can the parent responsibly for the screechy, screaming child, who screams continually while it is playing outside be advised that the rest of the residents in Fishers Road are sick to death of hearing your child scream continuously,” [sic] the note begins.
The note goes on to state that any noise from Henry “gets on everyone’s nerves” and that allowing him to behave in this manner “is selfish”.
“Everyone is talking about it and beginning to wonder if the child is actually neglected, as no one in their right mind would allow their child to scream all the time without doing something about it,” the note continues.
The accusation of neglect seems to be a last-minute attempt at showing actual concern rather than simply railing against the annoyance, since the remainder of the letter is concerned only with how it affects the neighbours rather than whether Henry (or “it”, as the letter calls him) is actually cared for.
“We put up with it last year, all through the summer and hoped your child would have grown out of screaming but it seems not as it still does it all day every day and louder and shriller than before.”
Whatever the note says, Jessica believes it’s the “revolting” work of an individual, as many neighbours were horrified at the contents when she questioned them about the note.
“In this situation you’d like to think the neighbour would come and address you personally,” Jessica says in an article from The Sun. “I want to make people aware of autism – they were too quick to make a judgement.”