Father shocked to receive anonymous letter from neighbors criticizing his autistic son's toys

Megan Johnson
Toys in yard (Photo: WHDH)
Toys in yard (Photo: WHDH)

For a Massachusetts boy living with autism, the bevy of toys in his yard is the ultimate play land. But the colorful collection isn’t so popular with some of the neighbors.

Ian Gregorio’s son Rylan, 3, has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and he loves the colorful castles and toys that stand in his yard. But WHDH reports that Rylan’s dad received an angry anonymous letter from some neighbors criticizing the collection.

“Hey hoarders! Give the proud property owners here in Milton a break and remove all the dumper diving children’s play stuff you have scattered all over your lawn,” the letter said. “It’s an eyesore to the neighborhood and if we called the Board of Health they might determine it to be unsanitary and condemn the whole mess!”

Letter (Photo: WHDH)
Letter (Photo: WHDH)

Gregorio says he was “in shock” when he received the letter, and called it “very insulting.”

“You want the best for your son and for your children to have fun and then you kind of sit there and go, ‘Well, what am I doing wrong?'” Gregorio told WHDH. “Is this really that wrong?”

It turns out someone actually did contact the Board of Health, because the department did stop by the home, located in the town of Milton right outside Boston. They took several pictures of the toys in the yard, but ultimately found there were no issues with the castles and slides that are collected on the grassy patch.

“This is a couple play structures,” Gregorio said. “Maybe there is a lot. I disagree. I wish I had this when I was younger.”

Despite the uproar from some residents, Gregorio told WHDH that several neighbors have been very supportive. The toys have even proven to be very attractive for other neighborhood children, who stop by regularly to catch a glance at the collection. But for Gregorio, it all comes down to making his son Rylan happy.

“The sheer joy on his face when playing is what I live for,” said Gregorio, who has no plans to move the toys.

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