By Anna Giles

EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) — An El Dorado Hills family received an anonymous noise complaint about their autistic daughter. They’re now hoping to turn this hurtful moment into a teaching opportunity.

The noise complaint was signed by “neighbors” that had no names or return address.

The target was 6-year-old Kayla Newton. Kayla is a lover of the outdoors and lollipops but has trouble speaking about it. She lives with non-verbal autism, communicating through noises and gestures.

“It’s a way for her to get out her energy and for her to relax. These noises calm her,” said Monica Newton, Kayla’s mom.

Monica and her husband Kevin Newton saw the letter on Saturday as they were headed out to get their car fixed. They had no idea the hurt they were about to experience.

“As you may or may not be aware, many of us are being affected by your daughters long periods of shrieking throughout the day,” the letter says.

The letter from anonymous neighbors goes on to say they have empathy but can’t work from home with this distressing sound. They asked the Newtons to reduce the length of their daughter’s episodes.

“It’s very hurtful to read that stuff. This is our child. If we could help her we would,” Monica Newton said.

A mother’s pain for her child and the hours spent in therapy, always looking for ways to help her talk. Monica said going outside is Kayla’s chance for some freedom.

“For somebody to say that she’s shrieking and it’s ruining their life, what about her life? What about her? She’s a freaking child, she’s 6 years old,” Monica Newton said.

More from CBS Sacramento: 

The cold complaint comes after three years of living in El Dorado Hills. The letter also asked for action, “so that we may resume some periods of tranquility that we previously enjoyed.”

So how does a family handle this? Kevin and Monica said with experience. Years of stares at restaurants. Years of no understanding. Now they hope those neighbors might walk a mile in their shoes.

“There’s a whole world people don’t see as parents like us experience day to day. That’s what I would share,” Kevin Newton said.

The Newton family does not believe this is from their immediate neighbors. They want people to understand they are doing their best in the middle of a pandemic.

Comments (7)
  1. maria says:

    yeah i dont want to hear shrieking during covid lockdown also. keep that kid inside

  2. Justine says:

    Awful and biased news report. Neighbors may also be doing the best they can to get their jobs done and they may have equal or greater stresses of their own. No one even considered this as a possibility in this news story. MANY of us are barely holding it together. There definitely needs to be some neighborly level of tolerance for the autistic childs needs, it does not mean the entire neighborhood has to just deal with it. This should be a balanced give and take. News team has some nerve going about this story in the fashion they did.

  3. Pedro says:

    WOW. All was said in the article; “Now they hope those neighbors might walk a mile in their shoes.”.
    So here is a solution for those pathetic and entitled neighbors: Take your calendar and mark off one (1) hour each, go meet Monica and Kevin and offer (after meeting the child) one (1) hour of your time to watch the child, to go to a park, or on a walk and perhaps some damn empathy will set in, in your privileged lives. How sickening to go (cowards) anonymous in your letter. HOW ABOUT HELPING THIS FAMILY. I hope Karma works its magical ways towards these nice neighbors with THEIR nieces, nephew, grandkids etc. if/when they get afflicted by a similar illness. SICKENING.

    1. maria says:

      you go watch her pedro or adopt that howler yourself

      1. Wazzup Jones says:

        Maria, I hope you have kids with a disability . Or get disfigured in a car accident and hope pity don’t stare.

  4. MomMD says:

    If they can afford to live in El Dorado Hills where the median income is $100K +, they should be able to afford a part-time caretaker to take their child to a park or a public space where her shrieking will not disrupt the same people for hours at a time. Or, whatever parent is the at-home caretaker should take her. It appears there are plenty of public spaces in that area, and if it’s pleasant enough for her to be in her back yard, she could be at a park, or a hiking trail with her family.

    I know from personal experience with my own child that individuals with autism are difficult to manage and caretakers can become exhausted. But I think we have to ask ourselves why this child is being allowed to shriek outdoors in her yard where it is clearly disruptive to neighbors who have their own stresses to deal with, rather than indoors in her own home. Furthermore, it is indeed possible to teach children with autism to use other strategies for communication and self-stimulation. It just needs to be made a goal of her treatment, which it sounds as though she’s in.

    I think the fact that her parents went to the press in an attempt to shame their neighbors over what is actually a kindly worded communication about a noise complaint, tells quite a bit about them and their own empathy for others.

  5. Mary says:

    Yeah I’m sorry I don’t think the anonymous note was mean spirited or unreasonable at all & “we’re hurt by this” from the parents is a little ridiculous. How about their empathy or consideration for others? I’m sure their is a reasonable compromise for all parties here and this is hardly news worthy.

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