It’s been over 80 days since Ayn Van Dyk was home.
Ayn Van Dyk is a 9-year-old girl who was taken from her family in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on June 16th by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Her father, Derek Hoare, has been advocating round the clock all summer to get her back. Ayn is autistic; despite the fact that Derek has been his daughter’s primary caregiver for her whole life, he has not been allowed to have any say in her care. He has prepared an affidavit about Ayn’s case with his lawyer and been regularly in contact with MCFD. On September 1, Derek was supposed to have his first opportunity to present his case about bringing Ayn home. But the hearing has been rescheduled for September 26.
Back in June, CPS appeared at Derek’s home and gave him two choices: He could either voluntarily hand Ayn over, or CPS — citing “safety” as a reason — would take her under an agreement from the MCFD. Derek is a single parent, with two other children, one who is 11 and one who is 10 and is also autistic. As he refused to sign over his daughter — I can hardly imagine why he would have — CPS took Ayn from her school. At that time, they decided that she was “unsuitable for foster care” and placed her in a “specialized hospital” for evaluation. Afterwards, Ayn was placed in a foster home and has been there since; her foster parent is a psychiatric nurse.
Derek — Ayn’s only parental figure since birth — has not yet been able to see or speak to her. He provides more details about her case in a Plea for Ayn:
Within hours of her removal Ayn had hospitalized and drugged with powerful neuroleptics, one of which at double the maximum daily dose. Her whereabouts has been concealed from me, due to me refusing to sign the voluntary agreement. And I will not be given the opportunity to argue before an impartial court as per why this was a wrongful removal for months. After twelve days of hospitalization, in which the hospital noted “no bruises or evidence of physical abuse and her body status showed no evidence of neglect” , and “Initially there was some suspicion of ADHD along with autistic aggression, but this dissipated as Ayn improved…”. The hospital insisted on discharging her (june 28th), she is now in foster care awaiting further hospitalization as the Ministry has waitlisted Ayn for a longer term residential based psychiatric assessment. My little girl is autistic, she does not require a psychiatric assessment, I am aware that she does not understand the dangers that lurk, I love her and I protect her, when Ayn has a tantrum at school it is me they either call in to calm her or send her home to, when she is injured it is to me whom she turns because she “needs a bandage”. The greatest successes this little girl has had were nurtured in the home, she loves it here, she loves her brothers and she loves her Dad.
Derek’s sister Amie has been able to visit Ayn. On August 25, Derek wrote:
Just got off the phone with MCFD, Ayn is sobbing to see me, she has been carrying around my picture, and is crying about wanting to see me. So saddening.
Amie just finished her visit with Ayn, she said it was the best one yet and that ayn took lots of pictures. Ayn played with a bingo game and letters, and was less subdued. Again she was asking for me, and asking to come home. I was not doing well prior to the call was listening to music and thinking. I am going to be quite candid… this is emotionally devastating, sometimes the sadness swells up and tightens your chest and you cannot stop the tears and the tension. To think about how much she longs for me is so tortuous… and i know it because I so long for her too. Amie tells her I love her, and that I am trying to come get her. This is all so senseless…
Throughout everything, Derek has refused to give up thinking and hoping that Ayn will be home where she belongs one day.
There’s a petition with over 3,000 signatures but needs more to reach its goal of 5,000. There is also a fundraising drive to help Derek in his fight to get Ayn back. Derek has been making a number of media interviews about Ayn’s case and has been setting up a team of therapists and professionals to teach and help with Ayn’s care when she is back home.
I’ve been following Ayn’s story and Derek’s unstinting efforts to get her home all summer; he maintains a very active Facebook page, Help Bring little Autistic Girl back to her daddy. Jean Nicol has created a blog with information, Freedom For Ayn.
It’s just unfathomable to think that the entire summer has passed without Ayn home with her father and brothers, and that she was taken by the government, by the state. I’m just hoping the September 26 hearing actually happens and that Derek is able to make his case — and that Ayn is back home very, very soon.
Previous Care2 Coverage
Photo of Ayn Van Dyke from Photos of Help Bring little Autistic girl back to her daddy