WATCH ABOVE: A Langley family has filed a human rights complaint, claiming the strata of the building they live in is harassing them about their autistic son. Jeremy Hunka reports.
Stacey Vogl says the level of harassment her three-year-old autistic son has taken from strata neighbours is so great, she has no choice but to file a human rights complaint.
“It breaks my heart because he’s being bullied at 3-years-old. This has nothing to do with my husband and I. This is 100 per cent people picking on our son,” she says.
Vogl’s son Thomas is autistic and also has a rare overgrowth genetic disorder. He’s already 70 pounds, and it means that his jumping and shouting have caused noise complaints from neighbours.
AWM Alliance, which manages the strata, sent the Vogls a letter, threatening fines if the complaints continue.
“We could be fined $50 to $100 for the infraction of him making noise. Again, I was so shocked,” says Stacey.
Thomas’ father Mark says they’ve already made many steps to minimize the noise, including taking him to occupational therapy, and bringing in rugs and a trampoline.
“To stop Thomas from having fun and being a child, it’s like trying to tell someone to stop breathing for a moment,” says Mark.
“You can’t do it. He’s going to have fun, he’s gonna be active, and he’s going to jump and play.”
Whether the Vogls human rights complaint is successful depends on a number of factors, says Robyn Durling with the BC Human Rights Coalition.
“I think it’s too early to tell whether there’s been a violation of human rights,” he said. “It really comes down to what the parties have done so far…from my understanding of this particular case, the mom has done quite a bit to try and reduce the noise. All parties do need to engage in the process of accommodation.”
Neighbours Global News spoke to refused to go on camera, but said they’re trying to find an amicable solution, while the strata council refused to comment.
Given all that, it’s unlikely the situation will be resolved in the short-term, causing plenty of stress for the Vogls.
“The only resolutions that the neighbours see is for us to move,” says Stacey.
“There’s no way we can move.”