When this woman is concerned that she took things too far with a neighbor, she asks Reddit:
For some context, I live in a basement apartment with my husband and our dog who as well as being a service animal, loves kids and is very mild-mannered. We have been having issues with our upstairs neighbors since November in regards to loud stomping, furniture being slammed, and loud screaming. I have been up to talk to them about it several times and last night I reached my breaking point.
I went upstairs to ask them to please stop stomping as my husband works early mornings and was trying to sleep for work. When she opened the door I could see that the small two-bedroom apartment had no less than six adults and four kids inside of it.
I calmly asked them to stop the stomping and since this is the third time I have had to ask in the last four months, the next time it got this bad I would be lodging a complaint with the property management company.
My neighbor had a friend over who has a 3-year-old who is on the spectrum and was the one stomping the hardest and causing the most amount of noise. Her friend gets a sour look on her face and started chirping at me from across the room. Friend: You live in a basement apartment and he has autism, what the heck do you expect me to do there is going to be some noise.
Me: Ok, I get that I live in the basement but stomping until picture frames fall off my walls is a different story. Friend: Well he has autism, what the hell do you expect me to do? Me: Put some slippers on him, or maybe secure some pillows to his feet. If he absolutely hast to stomp his feet let him lay on the sofa and kick the back of it or let him kick the wall if it needs to be something hard.
Friend: (exasperated sigh) Well he likes dinosaurs and he gets excited when he sees them and when he gets excited he stomps his feet. Me: Then don't show him a movie with dinosaurs. Friend: (another snort) You just don't get it, he has autism.
Me: No, I get it, I worked with kids with needs for three years. I worked with a kid who loved to stomp and when he needed to I would wrap his feet in foam and let him go to town on a sound dampening mat I picked up for him to stomp on. Friend: Oh. Well, I guess he can quiet it down a bit.
AITA in this situation? I never raised my voice, swore, or told her she wasn't parenting her child correctly. I feel like I handled myself in a professional and adult manner but I could be mistaken.
NTA. Parents can't just chuck 'he has autism' for everything their kids do. And I do have family members that are autistic. You were perfectly reasonable with the way you spoke to them, maybe shouldn't have said don't show him a movie with dinosaurs cause that's unfair to the kid.
Having a child with autism is allowing them to express their ways in their own way but when it comes to stomping feet there is plenty of other ways they can do that such as what you've suggested.
The child having autism and being around so many people could be causing the child to be freaking out a lot. Kids with autism struggle a lot with crowds etc. Might not be the reason but something to think about OP.
NTA - While it is hard to parent a child with autism, especially a toddler with autism, she should be more aware of ways to deal with something as simple as stomping. Not showing the child dinosaurs isn't something hard to do.
Putting a child on a carpet, padded floor, or pillows is not a bad idea. Hopefully she doesn't use the 'He has autism' argument for long because that isn't going to go over well in public places.
Nta. I, who am on the spectrum, Hate how ‘autism’ have become a go to excuse for people being assholes or parents not parenting.