…everybody needs good neighbours. Come on, sing it with me …
Warning – this has a rant rating that is off the scale.
My little Pwdin is not a good eater. He lives mainly on Paediasure with a few meals of buttered toast or garlic bread. He’ll sometimes eat Wotsits and, very occasionally, Burger King fries (gotta be BK). So, he regularly gets trapped wind, which results in severe colicky pain. This, usually, kicks in during the night and his remedy for it is to scream and run furious laps of his room. The rhythm and the bounce of his running acts a bit like shaking a pop bottle and he’ll release a good burp or fart and, often, that’s job done. It’s not 100% effective a method though.
This morning, about 3am, Pwdin had the wicked windies. He woke, in pain and inconsolable. Hubby and I knew this called for Calpol. Now, administering medicine to the boy is not the world’s easiest task and there was no way we were going to physically wrestle with him while at full pelt running his laps. That would cause distress, possibly put him in a position that’d make his tummy feel more uncomfortable and risk injuring one (or more) of us. Times like that we let him slow down.
A few minutes into Pwdin’s laps, just after he’d set up a self-comforting rhythm, came a banging on the boy’s bedroom wall. His rhythm was disturbed as was my son himself. To say he was terrified is no exaggeration. His screaming increased in intensity and he quickened his step, making the laps of his not huge bedroom dizzying and dangerous.
A few minutes later: more banging from next door. Same response from the Pwd.
A few minutes later still: banging at our downstairs windows and front door.
My husband answered. The “gentleman” outside could only state, “It’s 3.30 in the morning.” Wow, thanks. I knew those numbers and pointy things on that round dooberry on the wall meant something. Hubby explained we have an upset, autistic little boy. “It’s 3.30.” He said. The “gentleman” did not leave until I came down the stairs with my, “don’t go there,” face and made it quite clear that my child is registered disabled and that if he had concerns to feel free to call social services. He left.
Now I doubt very much if the fella concerned will be reading this but, just in case, let me ask you, sir, what did you think banging holy hell out of the wall would achieve? Did you think we were beating our child or abusing him in some other way and that your protest would make us stop or, at least, do so more quietly? If you think a child is being hurt then it is your duty to call the police.
“This is every night,” you stated. Actually, it used to be but now it’s more like four or five times a month. Pwdin does wake most nights but settles back with a drink of milk and a cwtch. If he doesn’t settle and isn’t in pain he’s happy with a catalogue to flick by the light of his dinosaur night light, Derek. In fact, the night before he slept all the way through from 10pm to 9am. So whatever is keeping you awake at night, it’s not my son. Wonder of you’ll have trouble with your conscience tonight. Doubt it.
And seriously, banging the wall? Would that work to stop a child crying? How? Ok, you’re tired. Hubby too. Me three. But banging the wall? I can’t get my head around that one. Then banging our windows. Was that for the neighbours’ benefit? What was that all about? Drama queen. Please note, we have a door bell. Perhaps one button technology is beyond you seeing as you seem so very proud of your time telling abilities. Well done, you.
If you had real concern about our child as, when confronted, you claimed then why the aggression. Had you knocked asking if we needed help, then I would applaud your concern. You were angry and tired and wanted to take it out on us. Knock my door again feigning concern and you will be coming in. You’ll be making coffee, tea and toast. You’ll be making a start on the chores that will need doing in the house while Pwdin is at school so I can catch up on some sleep then. Bang on my windows or the wall again and it will be me calling the police.
I think you needed to write about your rant, Autismum.
I had, and still have, wonderful neighbors…but then too, we live in a stand-alone home. When my son was younger, there were so many trips to the hospital in the middle of the night. Some of those emergency room visits happened when dear hubby was away on a business trip. I never had to worry that my slightly older daughter had nowhere to go to spend the night. (She got to enjoy the opportunity to be scooped up in a neighbor’s loving arms to spend the night in a neighbors spare room or on their couch.)
My son was physically disabled and in a wheelchair, so it was very apparent that he had disabilities. Some strangers would shy away from him, and others…bless them…would approach him and talk to him. That is the reason why I always approach a child with disabilities and his parent and stop to chat a bit.
Don’t be disheartened. Perhaps grouchy neighbor will ponder his actions and come around. And, if he doesn’t, it is his loss…he has missed the opportunity to meet an adorable little boy.
Sometimes blogging is amazing therapy.
There is a queue forming of people wanting to give this fella a piece of their mind. When friends with whom I’d discussed this little drama read this post they were utterly shocked that the neighbour’s son was not some hot headed teenager. It must be added, the rest of our neighbours, including this “gentleman’s” mother are really lovely, caring people.
I wanted to comment on a couple of things completely irrelevant to the subject of your post. First though… *sigh*. Sorry about your neighbour’s reaction. Anyway, my utterly irrelevant comment was how your reference to Neighbours (the soap) combined with the realization that you’re welsh really made me smile. I went to University in Wales, when Neighbours was at its zenith in the UK. Memories of drinking a panad or two whilst watching Scott and Charlene surfaced. So thanks for that 🙂
Just for you …
Haha! Well thank you so much. I think… 😉
IT’S JUST GOOD TO READ, I’M NOT THE ONLY PARENT OUT THERE THAT’S HAD THIS ISSUE WITH PEOPLE IGNORANT TO THE CAUSE.. MY SON ALMOST 19 NOW WAS DIAGNOSED AT A EAIRLY AGE, WITH ADHD AND AUTISUM, I CAN RELATE TO YOU SAYING OH HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. AND FLIPPING MAGAZINE PAGES IN THE LIGHT OF A NIGHT LIGHT KEEPING HIM OCCOUPIED, MY SON TORE STUFF APPART, JUST TO FIGURE OUT HOW STUFF WORKED, IF I LOST MY C/ D playor I NEW I COULD FIND IT ON THE HIDDEN SIDE OF MY SONS BED IN 20 PIECES, BUT HE WOULD HAVE IT ALL PUT BACK TOGATHER BY MORNING.. I HAVE RAISED MY SON AS A SINGLE PARENT. WHO ALSO HAS EMPLOYMENT. IN WORKING WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, I LEARNED SO MUCH FROM MY WORK I TOOK HALF OF EVERYTHING I LEARNED OR SHOWED, HOME IT WAS A 24/7 CAUSE FOR ME I DELT WITH BEHAVIOURS AT WORK AND AT HOME SOME TIMES THAT’S WHAT KEPT ME SANE.. WAS THEN TURNING MY SKILLS INTO BETTER TAKING CARE OF MY SON…. I HAVE BATTLED POLICE, TEACHERS, BUS DRIVERS, NEIGHBORS, CHECK OUT LADIES AT THE MARKET, COMPLETE STRANGERS, AND THE ENTIRE SCHOOL BOARD IN MY COUNTY, AND FACED THE PRINCIPLES OF THREE SCHOOLS,… IN DEFENDING MY SONS ACTIONS OR BEHAVIORS. I HAVE BEEN TOLD MORE THAN ONCE BY MORE THAN JUST ONE PERSON, THAT MY SON WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO EVER MAIN STREEM IN A NORMAL SCHOOL SETTING, IF I HAD LISTENED TO THEM ALL I’M SURE I COULD OF TURNED MY SON INTO A EXTREEM RETARD… BUT BY NOT LETTING HIM GET SHUNNED FROM SCHOOL, I HAD TO TEACH A LOT OF THE TEACHERS AT HIS ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL ( THAT’S A ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL WAS SET FOR CORRUPT TEENAGERS. I NOW KNOW WHY IT WAS MY SON WHO WAS THE YOUNGEST (ONLY 8 AT THE TIME). HE RAIL ROADDED IT SO OTHER YOUNG CHILDREN THEN HAD A PLACE TO LEARN AND GO TO SCHOOL…. I MUST SAY AUTISUM, CAN BE FRUSTRATING IN THE YOUNGER YEARS OF LIFE FOR BOTH PARENT AND CHILD, SOMEDAYS WHERE NEVERENDING, SOME ENDED IN ME CRYING W/OUT MY SON SEEING ME I MUST ADD. BUT I HAVE TO PAT MYSELF ON THE BACK , HE IS ALMOST JUST DAYS AWAY FROM TURNING 19. YRS OLD, BACK WHEN HE WAS DIAGNOSED THE ONLY THING I NEW ABOUT AUTISUM WAS THE MOVIE ( RAINMAN).. ONLY MY SONS ISSUES ISN’T HIS UNDERWARE IT’S SOCS, THEY NEED TO BE GRAY, NOT WHITE AND GRAY. PLAIN GRAY.. BUT I AM A PARENT OF A AUTISTIC CHILD NOW YOUNG ADULT, BUT FOR A KID THAT I WAS TOLD WAS UN TEACHABLE, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL LAST YEAR. FROM THE LOCAL NORMAL PUBLIC SCHOOL THAT ALL “NORMAL KIDS” WENT TO SAME AS ALL OTHER KIDS. HE DIDN’T BECOME VALAVICTORIAN OF HIS CLASS BUT HE DID GET HIS HIGHSCHOOL DIPLOMA AND GET TO WALK THE GRADUATION LINE WITH ALL THE OTHER “NORMAL” KIDS.. AND HE DIDN’T HAVE A LABEL ON HIM SAYING HE IS AUTISTIC…. BUT I WOULDN’T CHANGE A SANG THING IF POSSABLE. BECOUSE NOW THAT I HAVE A YOUNG ADULT AT HOME HE DRIVES DELEVERS PIZZAS FOR THE LOCAL PIZZA PLACE… HANDELING HIS MONEY BETTER THAN I, AND HE’S HAD GIRLS THAT WAS HIS FRIENDS HE DID FOR A MOMMENT DATE A GIRL WHEN HE WAS A JR.IN SCHOOL…. BUT I WOULDN’T TRADE MY SON FOR ANY “NORMAL” KID HIS AGE…. BECOUSE MY SONS NOT NORMAL HE IS AUTISTIC FUN LOVING KIND HEARTED RESPONCEABLE YOUNG ADULT. CONSIDERING THE ALTERNATIVE, A SO CALLED NORMAL KID HIS AGE IS FACEING HE’S NOT GOING TO BE A DADDY ANYTIME SOON LIKE THE NORMAL BOYES HIS AGE ARE.. THE GIRLS TOO THE GIRL HE SHARED THE NURSERY WITH AT BIRTH IS A EXPECTING MOTHER TO BE ON CHILD #2. A DRUG ADDICT, HIGH SCHOOL DROP OUT THAT WAS RAISED WITH BOTH PARENTS BEING ACTIVE IN THERE LIFE….. AND I THOUGHT I WAS FACEING ISSUES I COULDN’T HÄNDEL BEING A SINGLE MOM. MY SONS DAD HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE HAS THROWN AWAY BY HIM SO WITH THE ODDEST BEING STACKED AGAINST HIM AT BIRTH I WOULDN’T CHANGE MY LIFE OR HIS HE MAKES MINE WORTH LIVING DAILY. AND LOTS OF TIME PLANNING AHEAD I AIN’T A GRANDMA LIKE THE 2 PARENT HOUSEHOLDS HAVE HE AIN’T DOING DRUGS DON’T SWAIR, THINKS OF OTHERS AND I KNOW BECOUSE OF MY PERSUADENCE AS HIS ONLY PARENT. I HAVE A NORMAL AUTISTIC 19 YR OLD SON WHOES ODDEST AREN’T STACKED AS HIGH AS THEY ONCE WAS…. AND FOR ANY SINGLE PARENT READING THIS BLOG JUST KNOW FOR GOD NEVER SAID IT WOULD BE EASY, HE ONLY SAID IT WOULD BE WORTH IT. AND BEHAVIORS BECOME NONE EXISTANT IN TIME AND PUBERTY HELPS… STAY ON TOP OF YOUR CHILD’S IEP’S…. INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN.. IF YOU DON’T GOT ONE GET IT AND TEACH THE TEACHERS IF NEEDED ON HOW TO HÄNDEL YOUR CHILD’S AUTISUM…