Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Image borrowed from
(The Bayne family continues to be my primary cause on this blog, but while their case moves toward resolution, I am unable to ignore the pain experienced by other families when MCFD mismanages its mandate. Hence, this week I have majored on Derek and Ayn. Ayn is autistic. She wandered from home. She was found. Days later MCFD removed her from home.)
For the uninitiated Autism is characterized, by a triad of social impairments, namely impairment of social recognition, of social communication, and of social understanding and imagination, or stated as three types of disability:
·        Rigidity of thought and behaviour, and limited imagination or imaginative play where the individual may carry out ritualistic actions, or focus upon minor details (such as an item of clothing rather than the person, or part of a toy rather than the whole thing);
·        Limited verbal and non-verbal communication with a lack of true two-way conversational skills, a failure to understand the emotions, gestures, or ideas of others, and an over-literalness in interpreting what is said;
·        Difficulty with social relationships, with an appearance of aloofness or indifference, and with inappropriate or repetitive styles of approach if contact is initiated.

It is a daunting and unfortunate reality that although childhood autism is occurring in almost ‘epidemic’ proportions, the government and doctors still have very little knowledge about properly structuring the best kind of teaching. It’s certain that the child protection units around here do not understand autism or SWs would not injudiciously take a child that is happy at home and place her in a strange and clinical place for days, and then finally place her in a foster home where we must hope there are foster parents who are acquainted with the requisite care needed by Ayn VanDyk.

If the Abbotsford crew of MCFD child protection workers were informed, they would not have taken Ayn VanDyk from her father Derek Hoare. They would instead have spared no effort to learn what resources they could make available to Derek that would assist him to continue the remarkable level of love and care he provides to his three children and in fact would enhance that care.

An autistic child needs structured instruction in order to learn and to develop. The need for structure in learning is supported by bases such as these. Autistic children do not use or respond to language with ease as do other children. Some find great difficulty communicating what they want to say. Sometimes that difficulty translates into aggressive behaviour and/or tantrums. Autistic children can experience difficulty accessing their sequential memories (keeping events in order). This too may render the child uncooperative or belligerent.

Yet the autistic child will react better to a consistent, modeled and reinforced pattern of behaviour and teaching.  For that reason  some of the best teaching and learning that can develop an autistic child, begins and ends at home. For Ayn, home is where Derek and her brothers are. In this home is where this child learns to become a functioning member of society, to interact with those close to her, to have manners, to do certain things that will help her grow and develop. Ayn Vandyk has been receiving all of this loving and caring structure in her home and this has been appreciatively augmented in a local school.

If education is to be sought or augmented outside the home the school to which you send an autistic child should be one with structure. If a school does not offer that, it is wise to look elsewhere.

This notation is dated February 5, 2014 and comes as a result of a courteous reader recently supplying me with additional helpful links.

Keeping Your Autistic Kids Safe: A Family Resource Guide

Parent’s Guide to Toilet Training Children with Autism Spectrum

Help with Behavioral issues & learning life skills

Guide to Improving Gastrointestinal Symptoms among Children with Autism Spectrum


  1. Today I would like to repeat a point that I made yesterday. Autism can vary a great deal in its severity and it looks as if Ayn has a fairly severe type. With all the stuff that is written about services for autistic children, we have to understand one thing. Severely autistic children do not respond to training. Parents should not expect that these children will be able to function autonomously in time. Programmes for them must be realistic and appropriate to individual abilities.
    When we enter into a training or treatment programme, we should realise that some of these children have specific behavious which are unlikely to change. Training is changing behaviour. When this is not possible then the only options remaining are to manage the behaviour, or to find ways of containing it.
    Having said that, I do not know whether Ayn can learn behaviour change or not. I do know though that there is no earthly reason why the social workers think that they can do a better job than their father. What evidence do they have to show for what they have done?

  2. The Ministry who sees a parent parent who has an alcohol problem or is on drugs, they provide services to rectify the problem and children are then returned.

    Perhaps Derek should start drinking, admit to a drinking problem, then the Ministry will then provide services and respite care for Ayn.

    The long and short of it, if there is no services available to Derek, nothing for him to 'fix,' the very scary conclusion is that there is no basis for the Ministry to return his child. Does MCFD believe Ayn can be cured, then they will return her home?

    Maybe Derek should let his extended family take care of his other two children to free him up for Ayn. Would not that solve the Ministry's issue with his parenting capacity to father Ayn?

    Another aspect of this case that exists is the separation of siblings. The status quo of children who have grown up with each other and are accustomed to each other are being deprived of this sibling association through no fault of their own.

    My suggestion to Derek is to go on the offensive and sue the Ministry and the school that allowed the removal of his children. This is just plain discrimination.

  3. I've met Autistic children, and the one thing I notice is that if they attach to someone, this is stronger than from a child unaffected by the condition. I experienced this with one child, and I did not think much of it until now. Placing such a child in an institution and drugging them is unqualified abuse.

    I looked up "autism attachment with parents" and found this note from a parent that likely sums up what probably exists with Derek and Ayn:

  4. The attention Derek's case, the thought that such an MCFD removal can happen to any *autistic* child is an example of the beginnings of a long-overdue viral response by the public.

    A newly posted article:

    Derek's "Docs" area which contains links and useful references

  5. Does anyone know exactly where Ayn has been placed?

    She is a bit young, but I suspect the only facility equipped to handle Ayn from the descriptions that I have read is the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre in Burnaby. I hope this is not the case.

  6. Sorry for the delay in publishing your comments today. I was away from hardware.


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