In a shocking incident, the family of an autistic boy was allegedly locked up inside their Indirapuram home by their octogenarian neighbour. The 80-year-old man was annoyed by the nine-year-old autistic boy ringing random doorbells, pressing multiple buttons of the elevator, and throwing away the doormats and shoes outside other flats.
The boy’s father, Swapnil Narendra, took to Twitter and shared a series of tweets narrating the incident. He accused the fellow residents of the Nirala Eden Park society of being ‘insensitive’ and ‘unfair.’ He also mentioned that since his son fears going to the society’s park, the corridor was his ‘only play area.’ When the family first moved to the building, his son used to play in the society’s park. There, a few children started teasing him and he developed a phobia.
In a statement given to Times of India about the unfortunate incident, Swapnil said, “All of us have heard about kids with autism, but few know why they behave the way they behave.” He even tried to create awareness about his son’s condition by distributing informative pamphlets. “But instead of understanding our problems, they indulged in such insensitive behaviour,” he continued.
The 80-year-old neighbour also engaged in a heated argument with the boy’s grandmother. When confronted about his actions, he said, “The child is creating a nuisance every day. There have been times I got stuck in the lift because of him. Since other residents too had started to complain, I locked up the door of their flat. My question is why do the parents allow their son to go here and there alone?” Soon, the managing members of the building also got involved in the confrontation.
According to Swapnil, his son is undergoing counselling, but the pandemic has affected the frequency of his sessions.
Experts believe that the lack of awareness about developmental disabilities like autism often leads to such confrontations. Society, at large, must understand the importance of patience while dealing with situations involving autistic children, they feel.