Non-verbal autistic child: their landlords offer to terminate their lease after complaints from neighbors

Non-verbal autistic child: their landlords offer to terminate their lease after complaints from neighbors
Non-verbal autistic child: their landlords offer to terminate their lease after complaints from neighbors

A Quebec family with a non-verbal autistic child is forced to move out of their home due to numerous complaints from their neighbors.

Faced with repeated complaints from the other tenants of the building, the owners offered the small family the possibility of ending the lease, without penalty, if they wished to leave of their own free will.

A proposal that did not please Alexandra Pellicelli, Jayd’s mother-in-law.

“She also told me: ‘We are open to breaking the lease if you want,’ and then I said: ‘Well no, never’,” she tells TVA Nouvelles.

Little Jayd, 4 years old, recently moved into Alexandra Pellicelli’s apartment with his father.

As he has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is non-verbal, he expresses himself “through noises, cries and vocalizations”.

“We can’t say ‘Stop’ because what we’re really saying is ‘Shut up’. That’s not really what we want to tell our children. It is certain that if he escalates too much, at some point for him, for his own good, we will ask him to calm down, but we will never ask him to stop making his sounds, especially since [20h30] he is in bed,” explains the mother-in-law.

Misunderstood

Since Jayd’s arrival at the apartment building, neighbors have made several comments to the family regarding the noise.

“The neighbors in the block all said that we were noisy and that we were the disturbing element in the apartment block,” reports Alexandra Pellicelli.

The child’s father, Guillaume Lafond, deplores that neighbors complain about the noise of a non-verbal autistic child.

“I understand that we’re in an apartment and all that, but I can’t stop my son from being himself either. This is his only time where he can be himself here,” he says.

The man also says he is saddened by the population’s lack of understanding about autism.

“I didn’t expect people to be so lacking in understanding about autism. It really saddens me a lot when it comes to my son.”

Resigned

Although they don’t want to move, the couple are now resigned to finding a new place to live.

However, the current economic context complicates research.

“It’s quite complicated with our budget and housing prices increasing exponentially. We are aware of what it entails, having a child with special needs, so we are looking for either semi-basements or basements,” says Guillaume Lafond.

The owners told TVA Nouvelles that they were sensitive to the family’s situation.

According to them, the proposal to terminate the lease was not made with discriminatory purposes, but rather with a view to resolving the conflict.

They claimed to have made the same offer to neighbors who complained.

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