Thursday, November 29, 2012


Photos on this Facebook page portray Ayn Van Dyk in moments of fascination, or play, or affection or contented involvement with an object of interest. We are understandably incensed at what seems to us as a senseless apprehension, an unconscionable term of enforced foster care, and the abuse of biological parent right and privilege.

The majority of the 4,000 plus followers of the page have never observed Ayn on those occasions when the Autism disorder with which she is afflicted, interferes with her ability to communicate with and relate to others. We do not personally know how problematic her social skills and communication become. We have not observed the inappropriate, interfering and even dangerous behaviours she exhibits. Most of us who read and contribute here do so as a response to a human interest story and reaction to what we interpret as injustice done by a government agency to a child and her family and parents. We marvel that what seems so clear to us is opaque to social workers. We are exasperated that Ayn’s father Derek and her mother Aime and her two brothers must endure month after month of separation from Ayn. Furthermore, we are infuriated that a small girl’s life and mind have been capriciously commandeered by anarchic child protection policy and chaotic child protection practice.

Might it be that we are ill-informed? We do not have first-hand knowledge of the Ministry’s rationale for Ayn’s removal and her sustained retention. Are we satisfied that we have a credible version of what we all deem to be outrageous injustice? I am satisfied. The photographic family album tells a story, a compelling and favourable story of an autistic child at home with a mom and dad and sibling brothers. A family that managed her autism and encouraged her development while expecting and accepting the financial and programmatic support of community services, which it had every right to do.

We may not consider the family to be ideal when husband and wife separate as Aime and Derek did, yet even we without social work credentials can discern that these two adults, former partners, have an amicable relationship, and most importantly, an agreement that Derek is the preferred primary caregiver. Based upon his own recorded verbal tirade at social workers who expressed the intent to remove her we might suspect that he is out of control, but we would be wrong. He was being injured, and protective. He was being a father. Derek is the epitome of warmth and love with his children, and there is no more fitting place for Ayn to be than in Derek’s fatherly care. It is the way it should be morally and legally.


  1. What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful and loving family. Is there any way you can add an album of the facebook page photos you speak of as I am sure you have many readers who do not see that page or the photos.


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