UPDATE: Bring Ayn Home: Autistic Girl Taken From Her Father by Province
UPDATE. Monday, July 4, 2011, 22:00 EST: On the Facebook page for Ayn, Derek Hoare posted:
I received a call from the ministry, they said Ayn has been crying for me for the last 18 days, and would I please bring them a picture of myself for her to have. He also offered to speak with and I accepted, we spoke for an hour and a half. I believe he too is coming to see the incompleteness of the perpective, i’ll write more but I wanted to get that out. much was said, fight is not over, but I still firmly believe there is no way a protection case can be won against me. ask away your questions
Derek also says that he has learned that Ayn has been placed in a foster home, with an RN as the foster mother.
On June 16, Child Protection Services (CPS) appeared at the Abbotsford, British Columbia doorstep of Derek Hoare and gave him two choices: He could either voluntarily hand over his 9-year-old autistic daughter, Ayn Van Dyk, to them, or they would take her under an agreement from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, says LifeSiteNews.com. CPS cited “safety” as the reason. Hoare is a single parent, with two other children, one who is 10 and one who is 9 and is also autistic
as well as another child who is also severely autistic like Ayn. As Hoare refused to sign over his daughter, CPS took her from her school and, because she was “deemed unsuitable for foster care at the time,” placed her in a “specialized hospital” for evaluation. Hoare, his daughter’s primary caretaker and her only parental figure since birth, has not yet been able to see or speak to her.
According to LifeSiteNews.com, four days earlier,
…Ayn had been playing in the backyard of her family’s home in Abbotsford, British Columbia when she went missing. After frantically looking for her, without success, her father called 911 and a police search commenced. Ayn was found two hours later playing in a neighbor’s backyard.
“It seemingly was one of those storybook endings,” her dad, Derek Hoare, told LifeSiteNews.com. “She ran from the police car and threw her arms around my neck.”
Hoare fears that Ayn is being “drugged” as she is, he says, “very volatile and aggressive when she is outside the home.” He describes his daughter as “well-behaved” under his care and “succeeding and excelling” in her family home, but still “difficult to manage in a school setting or outside his care.” None of this is unusual for autistic children. My own son’s behaviors at home and school have often differed, for reasons that are hard to put a finger on (and all the more so because my son Charlie is minimally verbal). Without people who have a clue around her, Ayn could well be frightened; finding herself in completely strange circumstances with strangers who don’t understand her, I would think that Ayn could be having more behavior issues than usual.
I can also see CPS using any difficult behaviors against Hoare, as grounds for the province “needing” to keep her in custody. Such a situation is pretty much the nightmare of every parent of children with disabilities we know. Indeed, Charlie once wandered into the backyard of our neighbor two doors down — it’s has a climbing structure and slide — after being scared by another neighbor’s dog (he was soon found, but not before I’d had heart-stopping fright). There have been numerous reports of autistic children wandering and, believe me, we parents are doing everything we can to take care of our kids and keep them safe.
Hoare has set up a Facebook page to bring Ayn home. As he says,
“My number one concern is not getting my daughter back, but how she is doing right now. I have no idea where she is or how she is doing. I have not seen her and they have not told me.”
“It is about Ayn for me here and I am emotionally invested here,” he added. “[But] this is no reason for the government to come and remove a child from the home.”
If the government is so concerned about Ayn’s welfare, why did it not provide alternatives such as more care workers to help her family take care of her at home, among those who love and know her?
Related Care2 Coverage
Photo of Ayn Van Dyk from a Facebook page set up by Derek Hoare.