The Night I Disturbed my Neighbors with Autism

I live on my own.

Not something everyone with autism can do. Only 17 percent of
people with autism have ever lived alone. That should make me feel blessed and
accomplished. I live in a very safe neighborhood in a very nice apartment that’s
affordable for me. I have very nice neighbors.

We don’t want to be bad neighbors. We don’t want to be noisy neighbors. We don’t want
our neighbors complaining to our landlords that were too noisy. We don’t want
neighbors knocking on our doors saying “turn the music down” or “keep it down”
or whatever they may say. I’m the type of person who isn’t a disturbance to my
neighbors. I even take noise very seriously when it comes to my apartment as it
even says that in my rules my landlord gave me when I signed my lease.

But there is one thing that may cause you to violate this rule. This season only
comes once a year in America. Football! I can go on and on about how football
fans are. They’re noisy especially when your favorite team is playing a big
game. I’m a huge fan of the college football team the Penn State Nittany Lions.
They were playing in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl against the Washington Huskies. I
really wanted Penn State to win this bowl game as they were 6-0 in the Fiesta
Bowl going into this game. I was so bummed out when they lost their bowl game
the previous year against USC and heartbroken when they lost enough games
losing their hopes for a College Football playoff appearance and a chance to
compete for a national championship.

So, I just wanted them to win this bowl game.

When they sealed the game to win the Fiesta Bowl 35-28 after my heart was
pounding like a Giant walking, I literally screamed because I was so excited
that they won. I was screaming a little beforehand but my last scream made me
hear a knock on my apartment door for the very first time in my life and I knew
it was my downstairs neighbors. I just knew it. I was like “Oh boy, this is a
first”. He wasn’t mean about it but he did tell me to keep it down and I
apologized very nicely and said the game was over. I decided to do a nice
gesture. I wrote him a letter apologizing again for being a disturbance. I put
it in his mailbox that night. I went outside the next day to see if there was
any mail from the night before as I didn’t check my mailbox that day. I saw an
envelope with my name on it. The letter they wrote back said thank you for your
kind and sincere apology. They understood that sports games can be intense and
told me about them being sports fans as well. They also thanked me for my
business card I left them admiring the work I do as an autism advocate. At the
end they said thanks for the apology, shoveling the walkway as it was winter
and Happy New Year as it was New Year’s Eve. Also said I’m a great neighbor.

You never know what little gestures could mean to people. Try not to be a
disturbance and don’t be mean to your neighbors. If you live in an apartment,
be a good neighbor and tenant as it can give you a good reputation for a
reference from your landlord on a house or another apartment. You don’t ever
want to get evicted for noise. Don’t blast music or the TV. You’ll be complained about for noise and evicted. That’s never a good thing. I made a difference and
I was proud. I finished 2017 on a positive note like I wanted to. I hope this
gives you something to think about.

Check out my website

Louis Scarantino

Louis Scarantino is a man on the autism spectrum. He advocates for autism awareness. He grew up in Northeastern PA. He started writing and speaking after meeting his favorite singer Shania Twain! He's also published articles for The Mighty, Thought Catalog, YourTango, and Unwritten! He has his own website! He hopes to become an international Autism Advocate and get a film made about his life!

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