Ayn Van Dyke Hasn’t Been Home All Summer


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.

Derek described a September 2 visit:

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

What Happened to Ayn Could Happen to Any Autistic Child

UPDATE: Bring Ayn Home: Autistic Girl Taken From Her Father by…

Autistic Man Was Illegally Detained in Care Unit, UK Court Rules


Photo of Ayn Van Dyke from Photos of Help Bring little Autistic girl back to her daddy


Jennifer S.
Jennifer S6 years ago

If there was ever a case for the closing of every CPS office in the world, this is it!! CPS is a financially motivated government organization when it should be a humanitarian focused organization that is focused on what is best for children. SHUT DOWN EVERY CPS OFFICE, WHAT EVER THEY ARE ACTUALLY CALLED IN YOUR HOME TOWN!!!!!!

Linda Jenkins
Linda Jenkins6 years ago

Why has there become such an epidemic in America, killing animals, killing children, women and anything to satisfy some sadist rage? They do not deserve to ever breath clean air again!!
Rapist's, murderers, kidnappers and any other scum are not even given sentence the crime!!!!!!! Then they are let out again before the end of their sentences. Whoever took this animal from an autistic child and killed it deserves the same treatment he gave the dog!!!!!!!! If these people are actually *PUNISHED* maybe some of children, women, and animals would be protected and not kidnapped and killed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

christy s.
christy s6 years ago

I too wondered why she was removed and followed the links back to Lifestyle. Apparently she was playing in her backyard and disappeared. The police were called and she was found in a neighbor's yard. Given that her emotional developmental age is 4-5, I just don't think she should have playing outside alone unsupervised. That said, all of us who are parents know how kids can disappear if you just blink. I believe this could have happened if there were two parents in the home. I can understand the concern of the authorities but it sounds to me as though a relatively quick examination of the home situation, without removing the child from the home, should have shown that this little girl is in the best possible place and getting the care of an extremely devoted parent. Unless there is more to the situation that just this one incident--more than we're being told. I agree that we are too lacking information to demand the return of this child to her home. I don't feel comfortable signing the petition until I know more.

Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky6 years ago

Once again, it is all about money - shameful.

Barbara Mathiews
Barbara Mathiews6 years ago

This is a very sad situation the child should be returned to her father asap!!!!

Mary Cooke
Mary Cooke6 years ago

To me this is absolute child abuse! It is also kidnapping when there was NO SIGNS OF ANY ABUSE what so ever but rather then admit a mistake they will make this child live in foster care, where she can be at the hands of a pedophile. Not ALL fosters are bad but there are many who should not be fosters. They will risk her healthy mentally etc. rather then say sorry we made a mistake. Send the girl back to her family for GOD'S sake. There are kids out there that need help desperately & they are denied ANY HELP WHAT SO EVER! Medicating like this was, in my eyes, irresponsible & dangerous ! It is onething to check for signs of abuse but it is another to keep the child in hiding when there was none found it is torture to the child. They are gutless wonders I would have more respect if they came out & said " We are very sorry for the disrupption in your life & as it turns out there is no reason to keep the child now etc., etc. etc.!" At least they would have the guts & THE RESPECT for the child & her family. What goes around comes around! STOP the child abuse!

Marilyn J L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

Why was she removed? there's nothing in the article explaining this.

Christa Leduc
Christa Leduc6 years ago

I wish the Child Protection Services could be sued for child abuse and cruelty , where is the compassion? They are obviously the wrong people for the job, they are overzealous bureaucrats. The child is suffering and so is her family. I signed the petition and hope that Ann is returned to her family soon.

Susan L.
Susan L6 years ago

The situation as reported in this article leans heavily in favor of the father regaining custody of Ayn. However, there are so many facts that aren't mentioned. Unless Canada does not have a freedom of information act, it seems reasonable to ask why there's no substantial information given on the side of those who took Ayn from school, hospitalized her, put her in a foster home, etc. Are there no reports from the girl's teachers, neighbors, pediatrician, other family members, the doctors who saw and assessed her in hospital, the nurses, the foster parents? Data from these people would give us a clearly, more complete picture of why this bega and why is hasn't been resolved in a timely manner. I'm not impying that Mr. Van Dyke should not have his daughter returned to his home. I'm simply saying that I, for one, would appreciate more of explanation why the state felt its actions were justified. More info on all the players in this situation, please.

Lisa W.
Lisa W6 years ago

And yet here in the US we let octomom keep ALL her kids...