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Treehouse - Wow what a story.

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by afgm, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. BzyCookn

    BzyCookn Member

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    I'm very happy to hear about your nephew. He sounds like he's progressing well through therapy. Sadly, not all autistic children are as high-functioning as your nephew sounds to be. There is a lot of gray matter in the Autism Spectrum, and there are some children who regardless of how early intervention was introduced, number of therapists he/she relies upon, or the age of the child, are not vocal. Some children self-stim constantly, despite the amount of medication "cocktails" tried. Kids can be extremely violent toward others and/or themselves.

    Some find a quiet treehouse to be the only space that makes sense, that soothes and comforts the mind and body so much that the parents, who screwed-up with the HOA, plead the community for help, despite what may come out of the mouths of what seem to be strangers rather than neighbors. There seemed to be more folks blasting this poor guy rather than helping him, even suggesting he uses his child's autism as an excuse to break the rules.



    My apologies, MANY people who don't have kids with autism just don't "get it". You do, because of your nephew. Sadly, that's a very small minority.
  2. Zeratul

    Zeratul Active Member

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    Yea I was really sorry to see that article in the paper... seems like the wrong direction to take this and I really do not like the way the paper wrote the article, more like Tabloid journalism.... just sad all around.
  3. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    I was also saddened to see this in the paper. Especially since the entire story wasn't shared with the journalist or the journalist didn't care enough to get the whole story. No responsibility has been taken by the homeowner and the HOA gets blamed for the issue. I'm sure the lessons this daughter is learning from this mess aren't the lessons she should be learning to be successful later in life (as in- ask permission not forgiveness and take responsibility for your actions). Silly, avoidable situation all around...
  4. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    Again, what ARE autistic-friendly options for the neighborhood or for the family? I'm being completely serious and would like to know what a community could do to make a neighborhood more comfortable for special needs children. I know some movie theaters offer special movie screenings for children with sensory issues. What can a community do to help?
  5. BzyCookn

    BzyCookn Member

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    Thank you for asking this question. Might I say it's a very good one.

    Knowledge. The more people who know about autism, the better. My son still receives not only odd looks from kids at times, but also from their parents. Why don't the local schools talk about autism? Why aren't all teachers more educated? I'm not talking about the aides, but the teachers. There are so many wonderful books available that explain how autistic children's brains differ from ours, paint a picture of what one might expect from these kids, and provide ideas to kids to help autistic kids fit in.

    There is very little in the way of extra-cirricular activities for autistic kids. Some kids who are more high-functioning can participate in soccer or basketball. But most autistic kids don't like to play sports. It has to do with low core development, dyspraxia, hand-eye coordination, ADHD, along with a number of other challenges autistic kids face.

    I would love to sign my son up for a nature camp session, but can't. I'd get a phone call in less than an hour, with someone explaining that my son is obsessed with the bell at the front desk, The few local private camps cost several hundreds of dollars a week.

    How about a social group for kids in Broadlands? Kids of the same age group could meet once a week for social activities, supervised by parents and a few volunteers. Parents and kids could connect with each other in the community.

    It's hard to even think about such programs when the County is proposing to cut special needs funding yet again. I tell you, as a parent, it's very hard work trying to find special needs programs that are properly staffed AND don't cost a fortune.
  6. MEM

    MEM New Member

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    Have you thought of forming a social group for special needs kids similar to these moms' clubs that are around, but exclusively for special needs kids. I am sure if you asked, the nature center would do an event for you.
  7. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    In the comments of the LTM story it says that this was discussed on the Broadland forums and that the owners were vilified on the forums. Did that happen and how were they "vilified"?

    This is one of the most commented stories on the LTM site that I've ever seen. The home owners definitely struck a nerve here.
  8. Zeratul

    Zeratul Active Member

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    Mike, go back and read the Post (Poll) started by the Homeowner. While I would not necessarily agree with the term "vilified" it is not the point. There were plenty of comments and complaints, praises and words of support... and slams too. I think the homeowner's approach (words initially used) did not help but in my humble opinion, he came back to the discussion and rationally addressed some of the concerns.

    Nothing like strong opinions to strike a nerve....
  9. db103

    db103 Member

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    I procrastinated on taking down Christmas lights on some shrubs and I got a friendly reminder from the HOA. I was a little surprised that they were even noticed - I didn't think it would be obvious from the street. Anyway, it lit a fire under me to go ahead and get them down.

    I'm all for having a HOA or else I wouldn't have moved here but it did make me think that there is a fine line in determining when it is appropriate to decorate your house and setting a hard cutoff date for having those decorations down. Admittedly I haven't read the HOA docs where it pertains to decorations. Are other holidays defined and enforced?
  10. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    I was simply replying to "The article states that there are no places nearby for kids to play." But thanks for the lecture anyway.
  11. BzyCookn

    BzyCookn Member

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    Get off your high horse already!!!
  12. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    Why the hostility? Look, if you interrupted my post as being offensive in some way, let me assure you that none was intened. I sure did not think a simplistic answer to a simplistc post about a play area would cause anyone such distress.
  13. Charmed1

    Charmed1 Member

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    Here is my opinion and forgive me, but I'm compelled to share it. The article was irresponsible in that it tugged at the heartstrings and tried to get an emotional, outraged response from the reader. It worked. What the typical reader who might not live in our neighborhood doesn't understand is that the HOA, while sometimes nit-pickey, is for the homeowners' benefit and to protect our neighbors. I moved here last year from a neighborhood without an HOA and as the real estate market plummeted, so did home values, foreclosures and short-sales flooded the market and buyers had their choice of a saturated market - no more bidding wars. Add to that some of my neighbors were very "creative" in their color choices, there was no consistency enforced throughout the neighborhood in any way and you had potential buyers who walked away, simply because they didn't want to wake up and look at the periwinkle and green house across the street. An effective HOA could have helped in that situation. Just an example of the good that can come out of it.

    Is this treehouse a sad situation - ABSOLUTELY, without a single doubt. It was BEAUTIFUL and it is so obvious what an extraordinary amount of love, care, sweat and craftsmanship went into it. It's painful to know that it's coming down. PAINFUL. Here's the thing though, I wanted to make some changed in my backyard - add a patio with an outdoor fireplace. We went through the process. It was pretty painless, we just needed to provide a plan. We had to make a change on the chimney height. We added a shed - same thing, went through the process and we had to make a change. We had to find a shed that was a certain size and a certain height. No easy feat, but we did it. I wanted a higher chimney and a bigger shed, really, I did, but when we moved here, I signed a form that said that I would follow the rules, and that's what we did. If the treehouse folks didn't have to follow the rules, does that mean that I can have my bigger shed and higher chimney and not take the time to go through the process? What if he had gone through the appeals process and maybe there could have been a compromise worked out? I cannot fathom that anyone on that subcommittee had any malicious intent or wanted anyone to suffer. These are our neighbors and friends - not some evil eye atop Mount Doom watching us. I feel so badly for this family and I feel so badly that it's brought out so much hostility directed neighbor to neighbor. :(
  14. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    Do you think there's a lot of hostility between neighbors? Honestly, I have no sympathy or compassion for MTKeister, nor do I feel hostile about it. If anything - I feel sad for him. His latest ploy with the media makes him appear needy and self-entitled. It is what it is, unfortunately.
  15. Charmed1

    Charmed1 Member

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    I think you misunderstood what I meant by saying hostility between neighbors - I'm talking about people getting upset with others in the forums - not literally neighbor v. neighbor.
  16. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    I understand your point. Thank you.
  17. Home Sweet Home

    Home Sweet Home Member

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    Looking at the comments on the LTM article, I don't think your opinion is shared by many.
  18. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    If you read enough LTM articles and enough replies, you will see that most all of them are negative, mean-spirited or just outright stupid (read a political article and sit back and enjoy). HOA's certainly fall under politics IMO. I think many people play some kinda sick game and also post arbitrary and/or inane comments knowing people will respond. Anonymity will do that to some people.
  19. Home Sweet Home

    Home Sweet Home Member

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    I believe you. I actually only read the comments because of this thread.
  20. lilpea

    lilpea Active Member

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    And that is one of several critical data points that the paper and reporter completely glossed over, because it did not fit in the narrative of the story they tried to portray.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but here are the facts, not opinions just facts;

    1) Mr. Keister did not chose to work with the Modifications Subcommittee. He did not participate in appeal. To date he has yet to presented a plan or provide the Subcommittee with a compromise.

    2) At no time did the Subcommittee suggest that Mr. Keister use the scraps of the tree house to build a bird house. That is an absolute unequivocal fabrication.

    3) It was Mr. Keister who decided to tear down the tree-house, not the HOA. After he informed the HOA in writing, he was taking the tree-house down that is when the HOA & Subcommittee gave him a date - to which he demanded another 7 month extension.

    I've served on the Subcommittee for a little over 6 years, this Committee has viewed and approved thousands of applications. Sometimes we have to go back to the homeowner to get more info, but it is always in the spirit of helping the homeowner obtain an approval.

    As you stated in your two examples, the Subcommittee tries to work with homeowners and offer a solution that will be approved. Proof of this is, I can literally count on 1 hand the times the Subcommitttee has denied an application. I can also account for at least 2 appeals where the BHOA over-turned the Subcommittee's decision.

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