Thursday, March 29, 2012


As I and others have noted before, Monday April 2nd is observed as World Autism Awareness Day.

I live in Cloverdale for one more night, tonight. Tomorrow our contracted moving company will arrive to load what we intend to take to our next home. I have enjoyed Cloverdale. I would have stayed in the town if we had found a suitable place. I am particularly pleased with the student and staff of George Greenway School.

Julie Macabee is a mom whose son is in grade 2. He is one of 67 million people in the world who are affected by the autism spectrum. One out of 110 children is diagnosed with autism. If they are to develop skills and have an opportunity to lead productive and full lives, then they require many people within communities to assist them.

To affect this level of support, people have chosen to demonstrate their support for this special day of recognition by wearing something blue or by wearing the Autism puzzle ribbon. People using ‘blue’ hope others will ask for an explanation. The ribbon shows a puzzle image that reflects the mystery as well as the complexity of this condition. It displays as well the multiplicity of people and families who live with this disorder. So Julie made an appeal to her school to take an interest in this effort and to her delight, students and staff have chosen to become actively involved. They will be wearing blue and will also be holding a walk for autism.

Julie’s home will be adorned with strings of blue lights and blue spotlights that broadcasts an awareness about autism. At the heart of such awareness initiatives is the objective of supporting inclusion of people with autism in schools, workplaces, and in communities.

Autism and Your Church

'Autism and Your Church' is subtitled 'Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder.' It's written by Barbara J Newman and contains some helpful tips by Temple Grandin, a person with whom most families with autistic children are familiar. Because of my lifelong connection to the church, I was pleased to read about this proactive and positive approach to autism. Find out about what Temple Grandin calls "lots of practical tips to successfully include individuals on the spectrum in church."
This revised and updated edition of a trusted resource will help your church welcome people with autism into the full life of your congregation and the book can be acquired online from Faith Alive Resources for the price of
$29.99 / $30.89CDN

This new edition of an indispensable handbook provides a wealth of practical tips, including a new chapter on behavior management and an updated discussion of what "Autism Spectrum Disorder" means.
It will enable your church to
  • appreciate those with ASD as persons created in God's image
  • discover ten strategies for including people with ASD
  • develop an action plan for ongoing ministry
Reproducible resources include:
  • Sample Interview Questionnaire for Children's Ministry
  • Sample Interview Questionnaire for Adult Ministry
  • Sample Observation Form
  • Sample Parent Permission Form
  • Sample Adult Permission Form
  • Sample Job Description for Coordinator of Ministry to Children and Adults with Special Needs
  • Sample Individual Spiritual Formation Plan (ISFP)
and more!

Friendship Ministries Facebook Page
is a Non-Profit Organization with a mission of sharing God's love with people who have intellectual disabilities and enabling them to become an active part of God's family. That's admirable enough.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


A commenter left a note to me at the conclusion of my last post entry and I am responding here.
My post above was my explanation for concluding my current retelling of the Ayn Van Dyk story. It remains a relevant story. As I have stated before, in the early weeks of this seizure and apprehension of a child, Ayn’s father Derek was readily available to talk with numerous television, radio and online or hard copy journalists. His love for his daughter and his outrage at the Ministry’s conceited approach to his daughter’s best interests caught the attention of thousands of people and with that public detailing of his family’s story there was both sympathy and relevant information. The information supply has dried up because Derek himself has become silent. There is no explanation and we are left to surmise the cause for his diminished communication. Such conjecture is untrustworthy.  As a father and a grandfather and as a citizen and a lover of freedom I am  infuriated by the way this Ministry of Children has managed this child and her parents. Nevertheless, I have no current information about the status of the case from which I can produce my blog work.

That explanation does not mean I cannot or will not speak to the weaknesses and failings of the child protection systems of this province and country. I have personal reasons why at this present time, I have refrained from the discipline of writing.

I am familiar with Josef Fisher and his story to which you allude. We have corresponded in the past. His life and his family has been affected forever because of its involvement with the Ministry of Children in BC. I am sympathetic to his pain and loss. I have written about him before. Here are two of those entries.

Jan 04, 2011
Josef Fisher has sometimes written comments on this blog site. At times I have taken exception to his angry writing. Recently, Josef requested that someone convert thousands of words from his sometimes incoherent English ...
Jan 06, 2011
The story of Josef Fisher is a tragic one and one once more goes to show the power imbalance between ministry and parent, or ministry and foster parent. When you put that power into the hands of functionaries whose minds ...
I have a sense that the writer of the comment at the conclusion of my last post is you Josef Fisher. I trust that you are doing well and that a semblance of happiness has returned to your life. I wish you well.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Derek’s written presence on the Facebook page entitled, “Help Bring little Autistic Girl Back to Daddy,” has been infrequent in recent months. February 8th and March 2nd 2012 were the two most recent dates upon which Derek made an entry on Ayn’s Facebook page. Both of those occasions marked significant disappointment in his life after which he didn’t write for days and weeks. The former being a scheduled visit between Amie and Ayn which was cancelled ten minutes before the visit time by what MCFD explained to Amie as an Ayn tantrum at school. Ayn was taken home and the visit with her mother was cancelled. The latter date was a Mediation meeting about which Derek says he is not allowed to speak but about which both he and Amie agree, “It could not have been worse.”

When this Facebook page was started by Derek’s sister shortly after the June 16th removal of Ayn from her father’s care and custody, it gathered momentum quickly and Derek was prolific in his comments and replies to those who wrote remarks and annotations. Hope was alive and well that Ayn’s return was imminent. After all, how could a child protection agency keep an autistic child for any length of time from her devoted father? From such naivety HOPE sprang for Derek and Amie and all of the rest of their friends and countless supporters across the country and across national borders. Now I believe that it is the attrition of that Hope over all these months that may account for Derek’s drop in public comments. He may be beleaguered by disappointment. Beyond that hypothesis I decline to speculate but I can tell you that speaking for myself, the absence of personalized first-hand information by the principal players in this sad saga is problematic to me.

Certainly the Facebook page and Ayn’s story is not about me or you or any of us who are not related by blood to little Ayn and her parents. Further, Derek does not owe anything to me or any of us who have become sympathizers and campaigners for Ayn’s return. Having said that, I return to my comment about the dearth of input from Derek being problematic. We depend upon information. We need it. Derek should not expect that the thousands of supporters will hang around indefinitely if they never hear from him. It is not sufficient by any stretch to hear snatches from a few folk who say they have spoken with him. The truth is that this Facebook page has changed and has largely now become about all of us who comment on the page about our concerns and observations. It is less about Ayn. Of course we continue to view posted images of Ayn but because there is little current information about Ayn herself, many of us post our own compositions or other stories and images plucked from online journals, magazines and web pages and many of these are not directly related to Ayn. Our comments have moved from irritation with MCFD over Ayn’s removal and continuing Ministry care to slanderous statements that name public servants and generally vitriolic remarks about government interference and ineptitude. Denigrating comments occasionally appear, suspecting that social workers are eavesdropping here as if that is a deplorable result. Don’t we want authorities to know what Ministry policy and procedure does to families and how we perceive justice to be impaired when parental rights are entirely stripped away?

MCFD acted in accordance with an assumption that Derek was overwhelmed by the parental load he was carrying by himself for his three children, two of whom are children with autism. MCFD took his youngest child away with the patronizing statement, “We are making your load easier.” His load has not been diminished by this ludicrous rationale. He has been more greatly burdened for the past eight months than he ever was before. Yet here is my conclusion. Derek does not need nor want our help.

I have been questioning whether this page is actually of any practical help to Ayn or to Derek and Amie. Some of you will have to persuade me otherwise but I don’t believe that you can. We want to be helpers in the cause, but I truly doubt that we can be. I think that the volume of our intended help is overwhelming for Derek. He can’t keep up with our demands. So he does not respond at all. He is parenting two other children after all. Frankly I believe that a circle of closely associated supporters who personally know him and meet with him can be of significantly greater help to him than four thousand casual readers of whom a smaller number are blog writers and twitterers and small project initiators who work with decreasing information.

Although it boosts Derek’s morale to know he has so much kindhearted support (4,124 members), I do not believe that he needs us – certainly not most of us. He does not need the daily blog that I have been writing for many months. I have come with reluctance to that conclusion. My blog here is not servicing the solution to his personal and family dilemma with the Ministry. It takes up my time to research and to write and it consumes your time to read. I am not merely being melodramatic. I have even arrived at the opinion that Derek doesn’t want much of the help we insist upon giving to him. Out of compassion such help has been offered, but Derek can only process so much and he is the judge of how much that is. Ray Ferris is an informed advisor and has been seeking to provide to Derek worthwhile counsel which regardless of whether it is accepted and used, does at least deserve an email acknowledgement that it’s been received and read. Karla Fisher has offered on numerous occasions to do what she can at the appropriate time. So this case is proceeding and will progress to its conclusion and Derek and Amie will be at the mercy of the MCFD. I believe Derek is doing the best that he can do and I also believe that he should avail himself of good advice when it is offered because excellent representation is what he needs most. And underneath all of this, the interest of this child Ayn, is not being served by MCFD when it determines to break the spirit of the parents.

I have written in strong support of Derek and for the return of his daughter to him. Today I am reining in that effort and I will not write again on this case for the foreseeable future. I will rejoice when Ayn is returned and I will publicize that loudly.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Ayn’s mother Amie wrote at 5PM Friday. “It could not have gone much worse. Very bad day. I'm sorry I don't want to elaborate. Derek will update when he's ready…. yes. nightmare is a good descriptive word for today, but I'm awake... soul ripped apart, check.”

Wordle: mediationAround 10 PM Friday night Derek Hoare wrote to members of Ayn’s Facebook Page. “hmmm, am pondering just how to handle everything which has transpired. Have spent the last few hours reeling and trying to determine exactly how to proceed. We are bound by the CFCSA section 24 to not disclose anything disclosed at mediation without MCFD's consent.... my emotional state and the prior months however I am free to prattle off about. Am going out for some fresh air and time to think, I sadly cannot really disagree with Amie when she says it could not have gone much worse. So many angles of this need to be reviewed and discussed.... gotta figure out just what to do from here. Assuming i'm up to it i'll come on tonight and try to elaborate as best I can if not I will be on here tomorrow and perhaps others may have some thoughts on just what can be done next………. Also I see a ton of PM's, I simply do not have the time to check them right now, but I can imagine what many of them say so... thank you all, I know there is such care and concern for my family and I really appreciate it, the events of the last few weeks are absolutely alarming and traumatic.


Derek Hoare is involved in a Mediation Meeting with MCFD personnel today. We will look forward to hearing the outcome.


Deconstruction of Reality by Jason C on Deviant Art
Do you think this is happening – that is, the deconstruction of the family in the name of promoting the child, at least the best interests of the child? Am I unreasonable, even paranoid to suggest this question?

I speak out of a Christian construction without reservation so when I perceive policy and law in Canada moving away from those precepts toward unambiguous secular moral values, then I am compelled to conclude that the legal rights of families and parents are being redefined under our noses.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


It's March 1 everyone. Are human freedom and human dignity values that we want to preserve here in Canada? Here in British Columbia? Do I hear a unanimous and audacious “YES!” Is family of primary importance to us here in B.C.? I'm going to assume that that inaudible was actually a rousing affirmative cheer, and my natural hearing loss distorted the sound. Why do we shout "Yes!"

Why? Because among other benefits that family autonomy realizes for us in a free society is diversity, variety, multiplicity. Don’t tell me that is not important to you. We are not attracted to sameness. Commonality is different from equivalence. We share and enjoy and approve things in common but we are not the same. We can all cheer for the Canucks while we are different ages and weights and colors. Family autonomy secures diversity. When parents have the liberty to raise their children, that is a guarantee of pluralism.

If you want to threaten pluralism, then one of the simplest tactics is to wrap up the parental rights of the people who appear to challenge accepted standards of what is understood to be the “best interests of the child.”

What we have happening in our province is the lofty motivation of a Ministry of Children and Family Development seeking that which is in the best interests of children yet in too many cases assaulting the inviolability of the family to do this and thereby threatening the very values and traditions that families cherish and which make our society rich.

I am convinced that the MCFD can do better than it is doing. I am sure that it can manage its mandate more effectively than it is doing. I am sure that the government in power presently could give due diligence to what I am saying and conclude that we Canadians whose social institutions are based upon certain philosophical and legal traditions are finding them threatened by post-modern human rights. Chief among these opposing rights is the less than subtle approaches to restructuring the roles and relationships of the family and the government or nation. The government is taking on consistently stronger roles in protecting the rights of children as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Are any of you thinking that the power of the state is in collision with parents rights to liberty under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights?