Celebrity Families

Brisbane mum receives anonymous letter from neighbours complaining about her son with autism

The unnamed note threatened to call the council over teenager's "strange moaning and shouting".

By Bettina Tyrrell
A Brisbane mum has received a noise complaint from her neighbour complaining about her son with autism's moaning.
Magenta Quinn took to Facebook to share the letter to "help raise awareness about mental illness and disabilities."
"This morning I collected this letter from my mailbox and shared it in my local community page with the following text," she writes. "I shared it to state 'this is not OK' and make a stand about bullying. I received an out pouring of love and compassion and am grateful for people who care."
Inspired by the support from her community Facebook group, Ms Quinn posted the letter to her own Facebook feed.
The letter, penned by an anonymous neighbour read: "When you moved in we heard these strange moaning and shouting coming from your garden every day and night, for which we were concerned may be illegal activities, so we contacted the police who in turn have visited your premises."
"They informed us of your situation that a person in your family is suffering from a mental illness and that was the source of the noise."
The neighbour said while they sympathise with Ms Quinn's situation, the noise was "very disturbing and occurred continuously".
Magenta Quinn posted the anonymous letter from her neighbours to Facebook to "help raise awareness about mental illness and disabilities."
"I would kindly request that you consider your neighbours and try to limit the amount of time that is spent in the garden such that we do not have to listen to the disturbing noise daily and sometimes before 6am."
"I am giving you the opportunity to help us live together in this community without it becoming a constant battle. If this continues at the regular intervals it has been, I intend to make formal complaints against your address to council to help resolve this issue."
They letter ended, "Yours sincerely, Neighbour."
MS Quinn is her teenager son's full-time carer. Image source: Facebook.

'Talking with council won't help, he's not a dog, he's a person'

In response to the neighbour's letter, Ms Quinn wrote, "Dear neighbour who left me this note. While I appreciate the odd noises of a mentally ill person can be disturbing, I can guarantee that you have no clue when compared to living with it 24/7 for 17 years.
"Having 3 police turn up at my doorstep at 10:30 at night when I'm new to the area may have made you feel you are avoiding confrontation, but for me it was alarming to say the least.
"Talking with council won't help, he's not a dog, it's a person. If you'd like to take him on a holiday so I can get some rest that would be awesome. Otherwise, please feel free to come and chat with me, there's a lot you do not understand.
"Have a great day!"

'People are just absolutely heartless'

Ms Quinn has received an outpouring of support from her online community with many condemning the anonymous neighbour and their ignorant remarks.
"I think the fact that your neighbour wants to remain anonymous speaks volumes. If they really felt their position was right they wouldn't have been so gutless and they would have put their name to it. I hope this doesn't make you feel uncomfortable in your own garden," commented one Facebook user.
Speaking with the ABC, Ms Quinn explained she is her teenage son's full-time carer. She explained her son had the mental capacity of a six year old, and his "humming and occasional yelps", while loud at times, were a part of who he is.
Autism Awareness Australia CEO Nicole Rogerson spoke to the ABC about the letter, which she says disgusted her saying, "I can't imagine having a life so devoid of anything that your biggest complaint is a boy next door making noises in his garden. Buy a radio and get a life."
"People are just absolutely heartless and people don't understand disability and don't know hot to cope with it... they're quite intolerant of autism," she added.
We applaud MS Quinn for turning a soul crushing experience into an education for anyone who may be ignorant or unaware of the difficulties of raising a son with autism.
For more information on Autism, visit Autism Awareness website and always seek advice from your GP.