Autistic teen’s noises prompt letter from anonymous neighbour

Jasmin Lill

A BRISBANE mum says she was shocked to receive an anonymous letter from a neighbour complaining about noises coming from her autistic son.

Magenta Quinn found the letter at her Mount Ommaney home on Monday.

“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,” the letter said.

“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 writer said while they sympathised with Ms Quinn’s situation, the noise was very disturbing and occurred continuously.

“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,” they wrote.

“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. Yours sincerely, Neighbour.”

The letter to Ms Quinn from an anonymous neighbour.

A flabbergasted Ms Quinn posted the letter to Facebook in the hope the writer would read her response.

“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!”

Ms Quinn was swamped with messages of support, and said the response to her post had been amazing.

“I feel so completely loved. I put the post up then spent two hours responding to people,” she said.

The single mum is the full time carer of a teenager with special needs, and they have only lived in the area for three months.


Spectrospective: Stories of Autism

“My son is autistic. He has the mental capacity of about a five to seven-year-old. His language capacity is exceptionally limited, we might get three to five word sentences half a dozen times a day,” Ms Quinn said.

“The noise they’re referring to is that he hums and occasionally yelps. It’s a calming mechanism, and without it, he would get very frustrated and aggressive so I’d prefer the humming.”

Ms Quinn said she hoped the writer of the letter would come and talk to her, but she wasn't hopeful.

“It’s not okay to control and bully other people. I’d ask them to come and have a chat with me and maybe we can explain things and work it out.”