Los Angeles: An Indian couple in the US has been forced to leave their house after their neighbours filed a lawsuit against them alleging their autistic son is a "public nuisance", sparking outrage among parents of children with autism, according to a media report.
Vidyut Gopal - an engineer at a Silicon Valley company and Parul Agrawal - a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, were forced to leave their home of seven years in California's Sunnyvale city, one of the major cities that make up Silicon Valley.
When neighbors complained about the child's pulling children's hair, biting a woman and other menacing behavior, the couple hired caregivers, gave the boy special medication, and put him in therapeutic classes, The San Jose Mercury News reported on Thursday.
However, the Silicon Valley couple got slapped with a lawsuit that called their son a "public nuisance" - and ultimately drove them out of their home of seven years, the paper reported.
As Gopal and Agrawal are in the midst of a legal battle, it has sparked outrage among parents of children with autism, raising troubling questions about how to coexist with neighbors with special needs kids.
"This has been pretty devastating for us, but we are doing our best to cope with it," Gopal said.
The lawsuit, filed last summer by two couples who lived adjacent to the couple's home, alleges that the boy's disruptive behavior also created an "as-yet unquantified chilling effect on the otherwise 'hot' local real estate market" and that "people feel constrained in the marketability of their homes as this issue remains unresolved and the nuisance remains unabated."
A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge last October issued a preliminary injunction against them to ensure their son does not strike, assault, or batter anyone in the neighborhood or their personal property.
The case will return to court Tuesday, when a judge will hear arguments about whether the plaintiffs should have access to the boy's school and medical records, the paper said.
The couple, meanwhile, said they remain focused on helping their son, hoping that this case "will raise awareness about autism and educate the public" about the challenges that families of children with autism face.