When I was single, I used to live in a two-family house on the first floor and the kids that lived upstairs ran wild every day and night. I complained but met with blank responses from an exhausted babysitter or an annoyed mother who said, "they are children, this is what they do."
All I could think was, "What a terrible mother. Those kids are so spoiled."
Now here I am living in an apartment building above two single women and I have two kids with very heavy feet who run everywhere even if they are not in a hurry. They jump and drop things and they wake up so early. My neighbors also work at night and sleep in the morning. It's a bad mix.
Over the course of a few months, I figured out how to best handle this. It's not perfect but it's the best I can do. If you have any other tips, please let me know:
1. Tell your neighbors the truth. Tell them your child has a disability. It might help them be less annoyed. It also helps if they meet your child so your child puts a face to the person you say he's bothering.
2. Buy extra padding. It really is fair that you do that even though it's not your fault he has sensory issues and needs to stomp and run.
3. Ask them to bang up on the ceiling or come upstairs to complain. This can send a message to your child that he is bothering someone. Logan's face always freezes up when he hears banging on the ceiling and gets a little scared.
4. Make your child write a "sorry" card. Anything you can do to help him remember that it is wrong to be inconsiderate to neighbors.
5. If you like your neighbors and you think their complaints are reasonable, give them your phone number so it makes it easier to complain. I think banging on the ceiling and having to come upstairs causes a person stress. My neighbors are really nice. They know that Logan has issues and always apologize for complaining.
The most important thing to me is that they know that I'm doing something about it. What I hated about that previous upstairs neighbor is that I thought she was a terrible mother and that always made me angrier whenever the noise became really unbearable.
Postscript: Click here to read what happened with my downstairs neighbors in September '09. You won't believe it!