Summer is upon us and everyone is outside enjoying the warm weather. Unfortunately, some people like to enjoy it while blaring their music outdoors for all of us to hear. Neighbors like this make life tough for those of us who have children with Autism. Many children on the spectrum, as well as adults, have a tendency to have sensitivity to sounds. Vacuum cleaners, high volume on TVs, loud music and sirens can cause major discomfort autism individuals.
Last July, here in Spring Grove, one of our neighbors decided to take it upon himself to schedule a live band to play in his backyard; which is behind our yard. The band started at 7:00 pm and was still going strong till 11:00pm. I called the police to see if they could come out and at least ask him to turn the volume down; I had to call SEVEN times in order to get someone to come out. I kept explaining to the police that my child, who is diagnosed with autism cannot sleep in his own home, due to the music and that is why he was having a massive meltdown. The police could barely hear me due to my son’s screaming. However, to be honest, they seemed more annoyed with me then with the fact that my special needs child was severely being affected by someone else’s ignorance and consideration for their neighbors.
There was no area in my home that was quiet enough for my son to sleep; he kept screaming at me to “turn it off” and I couldn’t. He ended up having a massive meltdown that lasted 2 1/2 hours and he didn’t fall asleep until 12:30. The police officer called me after he spoke with my neighbor and he said that he got “permission” from the township to have the band in his yard. Really?
I was determined to find out who would be so ignorant enough to approve something like this. Therefore, I went to the local township office; reported my complaint and asked who approved the band request. I was told, “no one in this office approved that and we would never approve such a request.” Well, obviously someone is lying; it was recommend that I attend the next township meeting to formally report my complaint.
I attended the meeting and stated my complaint about the band playing in my neighborhood. I also informed them that I posted a video of the band on Facebook and had people as far as Biesecker Road saying that they could hear it from their house. The president stated that he too heard the band and actually drove by the house that night to see it for himself. Did he say anything? Did he report it to the police? No.
Of course, everyone is “sorry” for what we had to go through; but there is nothing that can be done because there is no noise ordinance in Spring Grove. They said that it cannot be passed because of the local farmers; they want to be able to work on their crops in the early morning hours. Okay, I have no problem with farming equipment, I am talking about a live band in a neighborhood, as well as music being blasted from his outside stereo until 3am!!!
Why can’t something be passed specifically regarding the use of a band in a neighborhood?
So, I guess this year, when my wonderful neighbor does this again, or blast his outside stereo till 3 am, my son will not able able to sleep, have a meltdown and I will have to drive him 30 minutes to my parents so that he can sleep. What really angers me is that this neighbor has met my son; he knows his diagnosis. How can you be that ignorant?
I don’t care that it is just one or two nights in the summer; this is my child’s home and he should be able to sleep in his own home every night! It is so disgusting that local organizations and authorities refuse to do anything about loud music or live bands in a neighborhood; especially when it is having a negative effect on people with special needs. Yes, most people would just “deal with it”, put on headphones, ear plugs, etc. My son can’t do that – he can’t sleep with headphones or earplugs; but WHY should we? We are in our home – why does someone else have the right to keep him from sleeping in his own home?