Special Needs

Letter to the Neighbours from an Autism Family

Today I saw our neighbours at the mall. The mom gave me a very tight, awkward smile and it made me feel like sh*t. I wanted to shout in her face: “We are an Autism family! Cut us some slack”. But I didn’t. And I’m sure I never will. And now I’m writing a letter to them that they will never read.

I'm a mom from an Autism family and I'm writing a letter to our neighbours. All I'm asking for is acceptance and understanding that our family is different. But we love each other to the moon and back.

Dear Neighbours,

I’m writing this letter because your awkwardness at the mall today made me feel shitty. I thought we had made a real connection last week. We laughed and joked and it felt good. But maybe it wasn’t real. Or maybe it was about last night.

Last night was a bad night for us. It had been a long homeschooling week. We had a few bad nights with too little sleep. And the kids were constantly arguing and fighting. Then the cherry on top was that they broke Dominic’s bed. Everybody was screaming so it must have sounded like something atrocious was going on.

Even though I don’t have to explain how this Autism family behaves, I feel I want to. We are loud, we shout and we swear (not the kids). We are four people and two who live in a small house. And we spend almost every second together. There is often not enough sleep and we all work hard. The kids to process their surroundings and to learn their way through society. And the parents to keep this boat afloat. It can get suffocating. And it can get emotional.

Just know that our children are everything to us and everything we do is for them. The love is everywhere and it flows through everything we do. And also know that we are also just human and by no means the perfect parents. I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m asking for acceptance and understanding.

Your neighbour


Charlotte Jones

I wear many hats but my favourite and most colourful one is mom to the greatest special needs twins.

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  1. I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with this. I know that feeling when you have a really rough moment and certain that the entire neighbourhood may show up on your doorstep. We’ve had some really challenging moments. I do hope that your neigbhours will one day read this so that they may be enlightened.

    1. I’m always so worried about what the neighbours think. I guess the only thing I can change is my attitude and outlook. It’s impossible to change other people!

  2. Yes, so sorry to hear this! You’re welcome in California any time!

    1. Thanks Nic! Might take you up on the offer! 😉

Comments always welcome!