Monday, April 30, 2012

PLEASE, PLEASE, WALK WITH ME IN THIS BATTLE, last of 15 posts in series

As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Fifteen of Fifteen
January 23, 2012
In this entry, Derek expressed his emotion as vulnerably as any father can and readers cannot help but to be moved by his request for moral support reflected in the title which I gave to this piece because they are words he himself writes near the end of today's journal entry. This is entirely Derek's writing. It concludes fifteen days of entries from several months ago. Time has passed since then and still Ayn is not at home. It appears likely that the court case will not be heard until December 2012.

Jan 23, 2012
"We arrived early for the case conference which was set to begin at 10:45. It started a bit late, likely closer to 11. The meeting is in an informal setting at a round table where all parties are to discuss the situation as it stands; what the hang ups are and how we can move forward from here. Time is very short so all points are made in extreme brevity, I tried my best to outline some of my frustrations and concerns. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare

Part Fourteen of Fifteen
November 10 & 13 and December 7, 2011
Derek was feeling terrible that his daughter could not be at home for her tenth birthday. He wrote from this background. Yet he planned to deliver evidences of his love for her. Some of his plans and those of his close friends are cited in this entry dated back then in December.

Ayn's 10th Birthday – December 14, 2011

Derek wrote, "I figured I would create a doc to summarize some of the things which we are working on for Ayn's birthday, perhaps it will help to facilitate others involvement.

1- Balloons: We will be releasing balloons and/or photographing balloons on her birthday from all over. If you would like to include yourself that would be awesome, all you'll need is a balloon and a sharpie marker, write your birthday wishes to her and snap a shot. Helium and release is optional :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Thirteen of Fifteen
November 10 & 13 and December 7, 2011
It has been ten months that Derek has been without his daughter. He wrote this when it was only 4.5 months. Imagine how he must feel today.

November 10

Had an incredibly difficult evening, Wyatt and me decided to tidy up the garage and began to stumble across memory after memory. Over the years I have kept so many of Ayn's precious things; from notes, cards and artwork, to hair, baby teeth and tiny articles clothing. Was unbelievably painful, we spent the evening together, and in many ways Ayn was there too. Eventually along with Lyric we passed out in the living room. This morning has been very hard as well, though no tears have been shed yet. It feels like a death, her beautiful sing song voice echoes in my head.... "Daddy I want a treat!", "Tickle me Daddy!"....."It's ok Daddy, everything is going to be ok.” So much for no tears. Going to spend a couple hours hugging my son and trying to explain to him how it is that the world is not just a scary place. That though pocked with pain and sadness it is full of joy and triumph as well. I'll be back soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Twelve of Fifteen
November 4, 2011
 It has been ten months that Derek has been without his daughter. He wrote this when it was only 4.5 months. Imagine how he must feel today.
Nov. 4
"My daughter Ayn was removed from her school by the Ministry of Children and Family Development of B.C. on June 16, 2011. I was told it was to ease my burden of responsibility but this action has had an opposite affect. It has been more than four and a half months since she was apprehended.

On December 14th ten years ago when I laid eyes on her for the first time in the delivery room, my heart was hers. I have given my all for her. I would never harm her, nor have I been accused of such. I have dedicated my life to nurture and understand her.

She has been torn from her family for no apparent reason other than a perception that she was an unmanageable, deteriorating child and that far from the truth. Ayn is a wonderful caring child."

Thursday, April 26, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Eleven of Fifteen
October 27-28, 2011

All fifteen parts are Derek's own words written in 2011. He has been silent a long while now. This month of April marks the tenth month that Ayn has been in government custody. 
October 27

"Wow what a busy day; tons of details to sort out, Wyatt is ill, Lori Pynn just blew me away, and I just got back from grabbing Lou from the bus stop.... ahhh parenting :) Funny y'know because we immerse ourselves in our kids' lives and face one challenge after the next, each with their own set of tribulations and rewards. To have others look in on your life and take no time to understand where you have come from and where you are going on that journey that we call Family, and then based on those ignorant assumptions impose upon you what they perceive is "best" is an absolutely outlandish sense of justice. It is both scary and dismaying to think that I wasn't the first to go through this and will not be the last. It seems so critical that people wake up to this reality of a system so misguided it has rendered itself to be the very aggressor it was meant to protect us from."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I have just started watching & already my heart is moved...I'm a grandfather. Derek is a dad. Wow! she's a beautiful darling ... from infancy on into this young girl stage ... Ayn plays and laughs and smiles and sees life and lives it with affection. She has to come home

Thanks to Pat Niagara for the video
Artist: Bryan Adams


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Ten of Fifteen
October 18-19, 2011
Oct 18
Arg!!! having a hard time getting myself to remember to sit down and write these on time... I'm bad. I will set an alarm in my phone to remind me; 11:30 pm.

So this was court day, much anticipated though I was working off the assumption that it was pointless... an accurate assumption it turns out. I kept Lyric home today with the faint hope that there could be a move to return. But my understanding was that if I refused to consent to their request to a 90 day temporary custody that a case conference would be ordered to see if the two sides could come together avoiding a distant and lengthy trial.

I arrived and saw no-one there I knew... Amie hadn't arrived yet, my lawyer was nowhere in sight, nor Amie's... nobody. After entering the courthouse two group members arrived and we headed into the courtroom. I saw Amie's lawyer and MCFD's lawyer as well as the SW... Still no sign of my lawyer. The hearing lasted about 10 seconds.... I did get to speak my first "word" ever in court... "Ya", when asked if it was me who was present. Surreal first word and over many months in!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Nine of Fifteen
October 13 & 14, 2011
 This was written by Derek Hoare in October 2011, four months into this ordeal. It has now been ten months. Derek has been silent for a long time.
Ayn & Daddy happy some years ago - Today, not so much. Ayn is now 10
Oct 13
"I surround myself with things of Ayn's, her sheets are on my bed, her photo placed directly in my field of view by the computer, her Mickey mouse toy beside me, her songs often playing, I read her words written on my walls which I have refused to wash off, wish I hadn't spend the hours washing the rest of her words off either, I would be surrounded by them now if I hadn't.

It is not that I am worried I'll forget her, or that I need inspiration... it is simply for comfort.... a physical manifestation of her presence in my mind. It really takes alot of rationalization to calmly proceed whilst this is being done to her, a parent’s urge is to rush to their child, danger be damned. This is of course impossible because now I am facing kidnapping by the State, and they are unmatched in their ability to use force, those institutions conceived to defend our rights, have become aggressive violators of them.

So I sit; I plan; I prepare; but I cannot go get my daughter."

Monday, April 23, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Eight of Fifteen
Day 119 - WYATT'S BIRTHDAY, October 12th, 2011
October 11-12, 2011
Oct 11
Argggg! I missed two days again, bad too because I have been up late and could have made the time, but it slips my mind when prioritizing on the fly. Well here now. Was a good day for me made progress on several levels, and thought over a lot of things.

Tomorrow I will try to assemble a list of each thing I would like to accomplish prior to the 18th, won't likely be able to get it all done, but will juggle through what I can. Have to simultaneously begin to set up ABA programs, in two locations... now one being in the home that is no prob, however exactly how I go about implementing a program for Ayn in a household I haven't met will be rather hard.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Seven of  Fifteen
October 6 & 8, 2011

Oct 6
Ayn, very happy
"Well it was quite the roller coaster today, feeling a bit uplifted because the programs and resources being offered to Ayn and Lyric are generous, temporal but generous. My role in setting up these programs is being respected and I believe if properly implemented will be of great benefit to them both. I was accepted today as well into the at home program for Lyric which is additional resources also being allocated towards proper treatment.

The IEP meeting though seemingly important is actually fairly inconsequential as I have done so many now and never have a big problem getting the school to focus on what I feel is important for the kids, not that they are always successful but they do generally word the IEP such that I agree with the stated goals. I presume tomorrow will be no different. May be awkward as I also presume the foster mother could be there as will the staff that I know well and who have been up until tomorrow not allowed to discuss her with me."

Saturday, April 21, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Six of  Fifteen
October 3-5, 2011

Oct 3
"Been far too long since I wrote an update just been swamped with so much preparation, I will endeavour to write an update each night at 11:30 even if brief. All the different facets of having a child removed keep you ever switching gears... and emotions.

Ayn at age 3 -  She is 10 now, 10th while in Care
Today I was pouring through boxes in my garage, searching for a book, and gathering any pertinent old paperwork, have so many photos and pieces of artwork, baby teeth, first hair cuts, homemade birthday cards and ornaments. Was absolutely heart wrenching. Still have to sort through it too... it almost feels like she's dead.

That my little girl who didn't come home from school that day, never will come home the same again. I am not sure if one can imagine the sadness and fury which something like that would invoke... the lengths and hours I have spent protecting and nurturing her... the innocence of a wild animal. And this being done in the name of "helping" us, my daughter is too wild for them to handle, they don't want to put in the time to get to know her or... get her to know them, to develop a sense of shared empathy."

Friday, April 20, 2012

BOGGLES MY MIND, part 5of15

As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Five of  Fifteen
DAY 100 and Beyond, September 23-26, 2011

Sept 23...............Day 100!
Aimee and Ayn playing, 2011
Been spending these days leading up to the conclusion of the presentation hearing (touch wood) researching a variety of elements pertaining to the use of drugs vs. ABA therapy and the various programs which could be set up to address this rather than drugging Ayn in school.
Boggles my mind that I am even in this fight, never would have imagined I'd be faced with battling my own government over whether or not they can coercively medicate my daughter. Some decisions should simply be left with the family and if they did not like it perhaps they could take the time to educate themselves on my daughter and approach me rationally. The reality is they do claim the right to be able to do this to us at their will, and as I am finding out there is no way to escape the maw without facing it head on and going through it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare

Part Four of Fifteen

DAY 97 September 20th, 2011
Ayn's winsome smile grabs a dad's heart

Sept 20................Day 97
Ok so have written this a few times, Lou keeps coming and closing my tab as soon as I get up to do anything, so cannot move until this is done this time. The day began with Lyric in the bathroom with diarrhoea and not toilet paper... fun fun. After averting the disaster in progress came breakfast then got Wyatt to continue his work on energy technologies.

Spent much of the day pondering the upcoming interviews.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


As told by her father Derek Hoare

Part Three of Fifteen
DAYS 94,95,96 – September 17-19, 2011

Sept 17........... Day 94
Aime and Ayn playing yrs ago
"It's hard to stay aware of the bubble I find myself in, always reading these documents, white papers and transcripts. I try to follow cases everywhere yet focus on BC and the CFCSA. The legislation across the western world seems to be crafted very similarly, as if each modelled off the same template. Quite foreboding reading, it does however tend to distort ones perception of the present. ...Hence I have to be ever aware of all elements of policy transformation. Simultaneously I have two boys to care for, a household to manage, therapy to structure and memories of a little girl suffusing my every thought. Every minute becomes very precious and prioritized, there is simply not enough time in the day to accomplish everything I would like to."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DAY 93 I GUESS part 2of15

As told by her father Derek Hoare
Part Two of Fifteen

It's September 16th, day 93 I guess.

Ayn's eyes after drugs were administered
Ayn at present is in a foster home, living in a separate suite downstairs with 24 hr caregivers. She is being medicated daily with Risperdal, and sporadically "as needed" with Seroquel if she tantrums. Benadryl and melatonin are also administered. Both Risperdal and Seroquel are neuroleptic (nerve seizing) atypical antipsychotics, with long lists of side effects.

She attends the same school she did last year, as a result of which I have had to move Lyric to a new school, which fortunately does seem to be very suited to his needs. Wyatt is studying the eukaryotic cell, learning about integers and working away on a book report about the revolutionary war.

Today for me was a bit of recovery, since yesterday morning was surreally difficult.

Monday, April 16, 2012

PLEA FOR AYN part 1of15

Today I begin a fifteen part series - A compilation of Derek's Thoughts
As told by her father Derek Hoare

Part One of Fifteen

My name is Derek I am a single father of three wonderful young children, aged 9, 10 and 11; my youngest two have both been diagnosed with severe autism. Though a constant and challenging struggle, I have done my best to protect and nurture them, as I love them so much and have dedicated my life to their achievement of happiness. My youngest child is a bright and beautiful little spitfire named Ayn. She has and is blossoming so well here at home and has come so far to overcome her obvious disability, she does however continue to struggle and outburst when in other environments, particularly at school.

Ayn with the eager eyes
Ayn is naive and unaware of the dangers that exist in the world at large, so when on Sunday June 12th she escaped the backyard we were very worried for her safety. With each passing moment the likelihood that something terrible had happened increased, as Ayn should stand out from other children easily and should have been quickly spotted. Fortunately Ayn was discovered two doors down playing in a neighbour’s backyard; the neighbour had taken an afternoon nap which provided Ayn with the ability to play undisturbed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Among the skill set and the tasks required for successful directors and the social workers who work with families and children, there must certainly be the capacity of a facilitator. Far beyond the immediacy of a responder or an interceptor or a rescuer, the enduring worth of a man or a woman who can facilitate the protection of a child while also assisting parents in ways that can result in the family remaining a safe and healthy unit. Of course these need to be special people with exceptional aptitudes. The Ministry should not employ anything less, anyone who cannot meet this rigorous demand.

So, consider with me how the credibility of a social worker would rise in public opinion if the following qualities of character and attitude permeated everything that the SW did.

I want to see a social worker who possesses REALISTIC OPTIMISM and believes that even if things are difficult, there is a way through the impasse, the dysfunction, the contention to see a new beginning for this child or this family. This social worker will display a NON-ANXIOUS PRESENCE, meaning he or she is able to remain calm and at peace even when changes and chaos are occurring. This will enable the SW to bring objectivity and attentiveness to a situation which will go a long way to guiding others. Added to this quality life will be FLEXIBILITY which consists of a quality of heart and mind that permits fresh ideas and course corrections and even unpredictable outcomes. It could be a person’s most valuable asset. Okay now I am reaching for the softer side. I want LOVING TRUTHFULNESS. A facilitator must be able to stand his or her ground when that is necessary and certainly there are times that it is necessary but here is the key. It is to be done with a heart of love. Could that not be underscored in a social work curriculum? It is important. People will trust such a worker and follow counsel and direction. Finally, and this may appear odd, let this social worker exhibit CHILDLIKE CURIOSITY. By that I mean an ability first to listen, deeply, and second to ask powerful questions. A facilitator does not tell people what to do but by listening and asking, the skilled SW will guide people to their own discoveries, solutions, plans, accommodations, or whatever is required to provide a safe and healthy home environment.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


From the UBC Press, University of British Columbia comes this book now five years of age but topically relevant.

The publisher’s paragraph states:
“People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia traces the evolution of policies and programs intended to protect children in BC from neglect and abuse. Analyzing this evolution reveals that child protection policy and practice has reflected the priorities of politicians and public servants in power. With few exceptions, efforts to establish effective programs have focused on structural arrangements, staffing responsibilities, and rules to regulate the practice of child welfare workers.

Contributors to this book conclude that these attempts have been unsuccessful thus far because they have failed to address the impact of poverty on clients. The need to respect the cultural traditions and values of First Nations clients has also been ignored. Effective services require recognizing and remedying poverty’s impact, establishing community control over services, and developing a radically different approach to the day-to-day practice of child welfare workers.
People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia provides a crucial assessment of the state of child welfare in the province. Practitioners, scholars, and students in social work, child and youth care, education, and other human-service professions will find this book particularly important.”

People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia Leslie Thomas Foster   Brian Wharf  
$85.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 5/11/2007
ISBN: 9780774813723    

$30.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2008
ISBN: 9780774813730    

304 Pages

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Is it the responsibility of our government to protect children? Yes, I believe our expectation of democratically elected officials is that they will formulate policy and practice that builds protection for the vulnerable members of our community. Therefore, we must accede to the wisdom of state responsibility for apprehending into public care those children who are being neglected or abused within their own families. There must be suitable criteria for child apprehension and acceptable obligations attached to such action.

When you consider the political future of British Columbia, the rapid decline of favourability of the Liberal Party and our premier Christy Clark, and the mounting support for the New Democrats and increasing popularity of the Conservatives, you must determine which party will deliver the best child protection platform. Do journalists ever ask candidates about their convictions and policies concerning this area of our community life? I have rarely heard this subject addressed. It is not on the front burner of public consciousness. Only those of you who have been troubled by Ministry of Children are acutely aware of the importance of a political party’s view on child welfare and child protection. If you have been directly affected by what you perceive to be intrusive and imperious action against you as a parent, then you are looking for a political candidate who will seek to understand and advocate for you. Is your current MLA a listener? An advocate? A sensitive and informed representative concerning child welfare and child protection?  

Monday, April 9, 2012


Have you asked or answered this question? Have you considered it?

I assume that I am writing to an audience of readers who adamantly concur that children must be protected at all costs from exploitation which may involve such things as child prostitution, child trafficking, child pornography, violence against children and poverty.

We have come to expect that our elected government legislators and parliamentarians will take a responsible role to provide such protection. That involves the articulation of child human rights, the establishment of standards for care of children, laws that address violations of the child’s right to protection, and provisions to meet children’s basic human needs.

I am writing in Canada to Canadians concerning a subject about which our knowledge is incomplete and narrowly focused. Throughout the world in thirty countries armed conflicts involve 300,000 child soldiers. (Child Protection: A Unicef Guide to Parliamentarians 2004)

The same information resource cites worldwide figures of one million children live in detention due to conflict with the law; 13 million orphans due to AIDS; 1.5 million children in public care; 250 million in child labour often in hazardous conditions. It is estimated that 1.2 million children are trafficked annually. What must the estimate now be when in 1995 1 million children were involved in commercial sex trade? Forty million children under 15 years suffer from abuse and neglect. 100-130 million women and girls primarily in Africa have undergone a form of genital mutilation.

With the enormity of such concerns in mind, does it make any sense whatsoever for a Ministry of Children in British Columbia to respond to a call for attention from someone with regard to Ayn Van Dyk, autistic daughter of Amie Van Dyk and Derek Hoare, by removing this child from the custodial and loving care of parents within a relationship where there is no allegation of evidence of abuse or neglect? No, it does not make sense. In this case, there is merely a record of a child with autism who evidencing typical spectrum manifestations of severe autism is a challenge to manage and specially when she is in a school environment among non autistic children. There is also consistent indication that Derek and Amie are able to manage her by conversation and reliable attention and compassion. Now for many months Ayn has been removed from this home environment without any explanation which she can possibly comprehend, placed first in a sterile setting, behaviourally inhibited with drugs and then in what must be have been perceived by her as the peculiar home care of strangers/foster parents whom gradually she comes to identify as her care-givers.  

This child did not require intervention and protection. The thousands of dollars that have already been directed to this nine month tragedy could have and should have been applied to her care in her home with her own family around her. I don’t want to hear any more cases like this one. I want to learn of cases that exhibit that the Ministry of Children develops and employs directors, administrators and social workers who understand of what child protection truly consists?

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Derek is Ayn’s father. He has lived for and served Ayn for these past years as her primary caregiver. That may appear somewhat unusual within the customary context of family structures yet it has most definitely been in Ayn’s best interests. Derek receives some funding for this parenting responsibility since he has two children with autism. His undeniable record provides evidence not of neglect but rather of devotion. An autistic child of any age often presents challenges to parents that other children no longer manifest to fortunate parents. It is regrettable when teachers, social workers and other observers are not cognizant of the complexities and form conclusions about the quality of the parental care being provided. That’s how this sordid story started. Uninformed people with unfettered authority making unnecessary choices leading to yet another illustration of meddling incompetence. Meddling incompetence might also be termed intrusive stupidity.

Now well over one half year has passed since Ayn was removed from Derek’s custody and placed first in hospital care and heavily medicated, drugged, controlled. Derek knew how to care for Ayn. If someone does not know how to care for her, then control her. That appears to be the early logic, although professionals will maintain that this early initiative was a responsible effort to find a balanced medical prescription to assist Ayn. Now for many months it must be assumed that Ayn has been living with dependable foster parents. What choice is there? And then came that image of Ayn with what appears to many viewers to be the traces of a bruised eye. We have all seen a black eye and we can recognize the changing color tones, from the darker blue/black of a broken blood vessel to the green as the injury grows older and healing is occurring. It is something and yet it may be nothing but that’s the point here. Why not candidly explain to Derek and Amie what accounts for this appearance? If what appears as a black eye happened during Derek’s watch, a school employee or someone else would be expected to pass the word along.

So when the Ministry rebuffs parental inquiries about something like this, what recourse is there? Apparently none. Derek has even appealed to the office of the Representative of Children and Youth which has promised to inquire yet acknowledges it has limited facility to become involved. Now time has passed and this matter may have already been resolved or lost focus or gravity. It nevertheless is symptomatic of the incapacity of parents to obtain suitable interaction, disclosure, mediation or anything else that reduces the torture of not knowing what is happening with one’s own child.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Amie and Ayn
Amie Van Dyk asserts that her child Ayn should never spend one day disconnected from her mother. She concludes that the resultant damage of these seven months of government seizure and custody is irreparable. Who can disagree with that? Ayn is constantly on Amie’s mind. She loves her daughter. During this forced separation, visitation has been permitted but irregular and infrequent. Scheduled visits have been called off with little notification time and for reasons not always openly disclosed. Amie may be told that Ayn had a meltdown, or became ill, of developed a rash. Visits were disallowed for a significant number of weeks due to what MCFD alleged was Amie’s failure to appear for a visit. There has been communication confusion and Amie contended that she was not informed that the visit had been scheduled. You see that’s the way it goes. Games. It is not a game to Amie. She has told us that herself. This is very serious. It’s serious when her child in someone else’s care and she learns that Ayn is itchy and perhaps that she may have chicken pox but she has not seen her and cannot see her. It is humorless when Amie has a photographic image in which there is the hint in changing skin tones around her eye that she has suffered some kind of injury. No explanation is provided by the Ministry. However minor it may be, the failure at full discretion by this ministry to the child’s mother is blameworthy. She has come to understand that answers to some of these questionable situations will never be forthcoming. Nevertheless, the visits she has with her girl mean so much to her. She lives for these visits. When they are together these two girls, the mommy one and the ten year old little girl one are so thrilled with one another that they play and laugh and love.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Google World Autism Awareness Day and you will obtain pages of links to inform, update, challenge and inspire you and those whom you may influence. Focus it to the past 24 hours and you receive this page of links. Spotlight you own country or locality as I have by identifying Canada, and you receive a more specific citation.

The e-edition of 24H newspaper ran Stephanie Ip’s feature entitled ‘Awareness is Key to Accepting Autism.’ She writes that 1 in every 110 British Columbia children are born autistic yet the condition remains unfamiliar to most people.

The Vancouver Canucks’ objective yesterday was to raise the level of understanding so that more acceptance of autistic people would result. It was the Canucks’ Autism Network’s Family Festival at jack Poole Plaza where the pledge walk was held. Canucks’ mascot ‘Fin’ and hockey heroes Stan Smyl and Orland Kurtenback. Vancouver Canucks team owner Paolo Aquilini and his wife Clara have a son named Christian, who is 18 years old now and in 1996 was diagnosed with autism in 1996. Paolo said “Children with autism should enjoy a full and decent life. They should be ensured dignity, but ‘should’ is not good enough. They must have these things.” By ‘these things’ Paolo means the year-round sports programs that Canucks Autism Network, CAN provides to autistic youth and their families.

I have learned that in B.C., families with autistic children under the age of six are eligible to receive support program funding up to $22,000 per year. Autistic youth between the ages of six and 18 are eligible for up to $6,000 per year, in addition to the $18,300 per-pupil funding provided through school boards. The province currently provides more than $165 million in annual funding for programs and services that support 7,500 children and youth with autism.