EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) — An El Dorado Hills family received an anonymous noise complaint about their autistic daughter. They're now hoping to turn this hurtful moment into a teaching opportunity.
The noise complaint was signed by "neighbors" that had no names or return address.
The target was 6-year-old Kayla Newton. Kayla is a lover of the outdoors and lollipops but has trouble speaking about it. She lives with non-verbal autism, communicating through noises and gestures.
"It's a way for her to get out her energy and for her to relax. These noises calm her," said Monica Newton, Kayla's mom.
Monica and her husband Kevin Newton saw the letter on Saturday as they were headed out to get their car fixed. They had no idea the hurt they were about to experience.
"As you may or may not be aware, many of us are being affected by your daughters long periods of shrieking throughout the day," the letter says.
The letter from anonymous neighbors goes on to say they have empathy but can't work from home with this distressing sound. They asked the Newtons to reduce the length of their daughter's episodes.
"It's very hurtful to read that stuff. This is our child. If we could help her we would," Monica Newton said.
A mother's pain for her child and the hours spent in therapy, always looking for ways to help her talk. Monica said going outside is Kayla's chance for some freedom.
"For somebody to say that she's shrieking and it's ruining their life, what about her life? What about her? She's a freaking child, she's 6 years old," Monica Newton said.
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The cold complaint comes after three years of living in El Dorado Hills. The letter also asked for action, "so that we may resume some periods of tranquility that we previously enjoyed."
So how does a family handle this? Kevin and Monica said with experience. Years of stares at restaurants. Years of no understanding. Now they hope those neighbors might walk a mile in their shoes.
"There's a whole world people don't see as parents like us experience day to day. That's what I would share," Kevin Newton said.
The Newton family does not believe this is from their immediate neighbors. They want people to understand they are doing their best in the middle of a pandemic.
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