Yesterday, the Honorable Judge Maureen Folan decided that the lawsuit against our family should go to a judicial settlement conference where both parties should mediate and put an end to this unfortunate litigation. This case has caused grief not just to our loving and close-knit family, but also to the community around us. We have tried repeatedly to settle this case and sincerely hope that this judicial settlement conference will put an end to the agony.
In an attempt to protect our privacy, especially for our disabled son, we have been shy about talking to the press or appearing on camera. But, in spite of our desire for privacy, after all the public opinions about this lawsuit we felt that the community needs to understand our story too. We are disappointed by falsehoods that have been spread about our family. We love our son deeply and have always provided the supervision and support he needs at home and in the community at large.
Our son is an affectionate, fun loving and outgoing boy who has autism. With support (and we do not deny that like all children with autism he needs support), he enjoys community activities, including hikes and swimming. He is learning to play tennis and has Bollywood danced on stage several times in front of large audiences.
When there is a genuine safety concern in a neighborhood, our society provides many remedies, including police enforcement and child protective services. In our case, neither of these public authorities found any public safety issue with our son. Please also note that to this date, not a single medical bill or evidence of injury or property damage has been presented. More than a year ago, we felt compelled to move from Arlington Court in order to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our son, and it has been a positive experience for our family.
We hope it's obvious that no parents want their children's outbursts to result in any harm to anyone else. Yes, our kids need more help than other kids. We do not deny that for a moment. Yes, we can—and do—go to the ends of the Earth to help them. But as the Judge said, when conflict arises, we must use our brains for creative community solutions and not aggressive, expensive lawsuits.
We do not want a single other autism family to suffer what we have. But we are grateful for the amazing support of the community and the disability organizations around us. We only hope this lawsuit will improve community dialogue and result in stronger, more welcoming, more resilient, and less litigious neighborhoods everywhere.