The father of an autistic boy says that his Milton, Massachusetts, neighbors sent him a hateful letter demanding that he get rid of the "dumper [sic] diving children's playthings" in his yard, or else they'll call the Board of Health. As Boston's WHDH-TV reports, however, the Board of Health did indeed visit, and they sided with the homeowner.
Ian Gregorio's 3-year-old son, Rylan, has autism. Like a lot of kids on the autism spectrum, Rylan responds to different stimuli differently than people without autism. In particular, he's drawn to bright colors and lots of action. To that end, Gregorio has filled his yard with toys and playthings, including multiple colorful play castles.
Rylan says that, in addition to playing on his multiple toys, Rylan enjoys waving at passers-by.
Some neighbors, however, think the yard is an eyesore. And last week, he received an anonymous letter demanding that he remove the toys, else they call the authorities.
"Hey hoarders! Give the proud property owners here in Milton a break and remove all the dumper [sic] diving children's play stuff you have scattered all over your lawn. It's an eyesore to the neighborhood and if we called the Board of Health they might determine it to be unsanitary and condemn the whole mess!"In fact, the authorities were called -- inspectors from the Board of Health stopped by the home and snapped a few pictures. Unfortunately for the angry neighbors, authorities didn't find anything illegal about the yard.
Though he's vindicated, Gregorio says via Yahoo Lifestyle that he's still not clear on why his neighbors thought he did anything wrong.
"You want the best for your son and for your children to have fun and then you kind of sit there and go, 'Well, what am I doing wrong?' Is this really that wrong?" he said.
Meanwhile, WHDH reports that some neighbors are advocating for Gregorio and his family.
Anonymous notes from neighbors upset about this or that has been a thing for as long as human beings have been living near each other. But in the days of social media, whenever a neighbor gets an anonymous (or not anonymous) complaint, he or she can share it for the whole world to see, usually with a view toward embarrassing the person who wrote it.
As for Gregorio, he says he has no plans to remove Rylan's playthings, saying that the joy on his son's face when he plays with those toys means the world to him.