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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 34,712
Location: Long Island, New York

15 Mar 2024, 10:32 am

'It was deeply hurtful': Lawsuit asks court to declare San Jose boy with autism a ‘nuisance'

A San Jose mother says she is saddened that a former neighbor is now suing her because her child is on the autism spectrum.

The mother says she even moved out of the home she was renting with her parents to avoid conflict. But the lawsuit came anyway, asking for a court to declare the child a "nuisance."

"He's a happy, loving, innocent little boy who just cares about his McDonald's," Serena Arvayo said of her son, Ezequiel, who is also known as Zeek.

The boy suffers from what is referred to as Level 3 autism - a severe form of the disorder.

"My son isn't able to speak, so he only able to produce sounds," Arvayo said. "And it's called vocal stimming."

The family used to live in a west San Jose home with Zeek's grandparents. But Arvayo said she had to move her son out because their next door neighbor complained about the noise coming from the backyard.

Arvayo said it was Zeek's grunting, the only vocal sound he is able to produce.

The family now only returns to the home to visit Zeek's grandparents and now they have been hit with a lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, the neighbor is suing the family and the landlord claiming the child should be considered a nuisance and should not be allowed around the home again.

Zeek's mother has now countersued, saying at one point the neighbor called the grunts "disgusting."

"It was deeply offensive," Arvayo said. "I think the issue is the lack of understanding for this form of autism."

The neighbor's lawyer told me the complaint speaks for itself. That lawsuit also said there are frequent loud parties at the home with amplified music.

A separate neighbor told NBC Bay Area she has to close her door when Zeek is playing in the backyard because of the noises.

Arvayo's lawyer said the neighbor's lawsuit also asks for monetary damages for the loss of use and enjoyment of their property.

The countersuit claims Zeek's family has suffered emotional distress and is asking for the harassment to stop.

"It was deeply, deeply hurtful," Arvayo said. "Especially because my son can't defend himself because he's innocent-minded. That's why I'm doing this because I'm defending him and I'm his voice."

Arvayo studied the effects of autism and has written a children's book in two languages so children can be more understanding and accepting of a child on the spectrum.

But now Arvayo said she is confident it might be a good read for some adults as well.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,186

15 Mar 2024, 10:50 am

I don't think that NBC is a credible source of information and they get a lot of facts wrong. As for what I am reading, it sounds like this neighbor likes creating drama. It sounds like this person is probably finding an excuse to get money.

As for the caregiver, that's discrimination which she could probably get the other person for.


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Joined: 6 May 2008
Age: 67
Gender: Male
Posts: 60,273
Location: Stendec

15 Mar 2024, 10:17 pm

The story is legit, although the lawsuit may be deemed 'frivolous'.  Several other news outlets are carrying the story, even the  Public Law Library 

There may also be a bit of racism involved.

The mother has counter-sued.

No love for Hamas, Hezbollah, Iranian Leadership, Islamic Jihad, other Islamic terrorist groups, OR their supporters and sympathizers.