Can everyone imagine for a moment that you personally lived in a world where as you went about your day, you knew that at any moment... be it at home, work in school... people could come and grab you and forcibly put you in a vehicle and drive you to a big building where you were isolated and confined with strangers forcing medications on you, trying to draw blood from you, ECG's, scales, poking and prodding. They would not tell you were your family was or your family where you were, you were trapped and drugged by the will of another, a stranger, someone who doesn't even know you. And if you get upset... well then they drug you more with powerful doses enough to inundate you with lethargy. That is now reality for my daughter she will live with that knowledge for years.... for years this will remain a possibility in her mind. Many do not believe that it is possible... she KNOWS it does.
He wrote this piece at approximately 3 AM this morning. He doesn't sleep much. He is a night owl from necessity. He cares for his other two children. He is a single dad, and a full-time caregiver. One of these two sons at home is autistic. So is Ayn, his nine year old girl whose experience he has described very well. Yesterday he was interviewed by Bill Good on CKNW 980. The post immediately preceding this one has a url link which allows you to listen to that archived interview. Further, the Ministry was receiving further public exposure and censure by three more parents being interviewed by Kari Simpson on the Road Kill Radio Show.
Derek's daughter's seizure and incarceration however, has already received substantial push back from numerous Autism groups and their members who recognize immediately the overreaction and heavy-handedness of the Ministry's social workers in Ayn's case. Ayn, did nothing different from what autistic children frequently do - wander off. And Derek did not neglect her or abandon care of her. She was playing in a fenced back yard and he took his eyes off of her for some time, what, minutes? - to do an errand in the house, and she in her playhouse, managed to climb over the fence. She was contained in an enclosed space. She lived in a house with doors and windows that lock securely. Is every parent whose child takes a short excursion going to be reported and lose their child if the police become involved in a search? Is apprehension of the child the only means by which MCFD can conduct an investigation of the wandering incident?
Derek says that MCFD implied that they have removed Ayn for assessment to lighten his parenting load because it was apparent to them that three children, two of who are autistic, is too much for him to handle. Is that the quality of social work in this province? Is this satisfactory to Hon. Mary McNeil, Minister of Children? It is far from satisfactory to all of us - the electorate, the voting public, the people whom our elected politicians represent and the families whom Premier Christy Clark has touted are her Liberal government's priority. I can't imagine that MCFD social workers themselves are content with some of the actions of their colleagues. I am merely a commentator here. What I can tell you is this, quite apart from this simple blog, Derek's and Ayn's story and the offensive action by a government ministry against them has caught worldwide attention. It is being blogged and websited and news reported prolifically. The Bayne Case has been disgusting enough. Paul and Zabeth have proven to be intelligent and dedicated and relentless champions of their family. Now a child with a serious disorder will become the detonator. The sympathy quotient is running high. The cover is coming off this sloppy child protection work. It can be done so much better, kinder, responsibly, compassionately.
Watch this Youtube video of Ayn prepared for Derek with love by his sister, Mandy - well done!!!
And Kari Simpson interviewed Derek via phone on the Road Kill Radio Show and you can hear it here.