Introducing your new neighbours to Asperger’s: a letter for families

The families in our Asperger’s Parents’ network have often wondered ‘What do the neighbours think?” when our kids are in the middle of a meltdown, emitting ear-piercing screams or shouting for help.

One family just moved into a new home and decided to be pro-active. Their idea? A letter addressed to their new neighbours, introducing them and their daughter and explaining a little bit about Asperger’s.

"Everybody that I met when delivering the letter where very appreciative of the gesture."

“I distributed my letter to my neighbours,” writes Sonia, “And invited all the kids for cake for Marsye’s birthday…it was awesome! The response was overwhelming! Everybody that I met when delivering the letter was very appreciative of the gesture. A few of them with no kids came also! What a great day it was!”

Sonia passed the letter on so we could share it with our Circle of Friends. Her daughter Maryse also helped deliver the last few letters herself. “We worked on what she had to say and all,” says Sonia. “It was good for her.”

Sonia and Steve’s letter is attached below. In Sonia’s words: “I hope it will give the courage to other families to embrace the beauty of our AS kids and celebrate it!”

I loved the wonderful tone of this letter. Thanks so much to Steve and Sonia for sharing it.

My name is Sonia and I want to introduce my family to you!

As you all know we have just moved in Monday and we are very proud to tell you that we LOVE our new house!

In a nutshell: I grew up in Caraquet N.-B. and Steve, my husband, is fromYarmouth. We’ve both been very implicated in the French community for the last 16 years!

My two beautiful kids are Maxime, soon to be 12 years old and our very bubbly daughter Maryse who just turned 10 Tuesday. Maryse is in grade 4 and Maxime is moving up in grade seven. (Yes…time flies by!!)

 A little note about our daughter Maryse…for the longest time we knew that our very imaginative daughter was different from other kids: in the way she communicated, her attention to details, her intense interests in certain movie characters…we finaly found out 18 months ago that she has Aspergers Syndrome (AS). What a relief for us to finally know that the thing that made our daughter special had a name!

A few examples that you will notice: If you go by and say “Hi!”, she might not reply because she didn’t “get” that it was intended for her, because she’s in her bubble. Or since we live so close, you will probably hear one of her fits! Usually it’s because she gets “stuck” in what she’s doing and doesn’t want to stop it in order to do something else (like bathing, getting ready,…) and our patience gets tested!

Both Maxime and Maryse love their Wii! The “game of the day” these days is Mario Galaxy 2,BlueOcean(Maryse)! Although Maryse’s interests change once in a while, she knows all Sponge Bob’s adventures and her AS makes her quote various episodes that usually confuses the person who is talking to her since it is usually said out of context. We are showing her how to prepare the context when she wants to talk about her characters.

Maxime plays soccer and Maryse dances Hip Hop and jazz with a dance school stationed at the school. We love the beach and to travel! Steve and Maxime are cat people and Maryse and me are dog people!!

We look forward to meeting you as we settle in our new neighbourhood!

Please note that we will have cake for your children to celebrate Maryse’s birthday Saturday! We look forward to introduce our family to yours!

Sincerely,

Sonia and Steve

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