Thursday, September 5, 2013


A few months after Ayn Van Dyk was removed from her father's care in June 2011, she was placed with a good foster family. They prepared this video at that time so that Ayn could communicate in a playful way with her father Derek. It is a pleasing video and it was a kind gesture by foster parents. 

Ayn is 12 years of age. She is autistic. She can be difficult to manage, although from this video you might question that. Nonetheless, she has been in the past, difficult for school staff. Always however, her father Derek was capable of calming her via conversation and non medical intervention. Under the care of the Ministry and doctors who treat her now, medication is assisting her behaviour.
Reliable reports suggest that Ayn will be returned to Derek in September 2013. If that happens, a family will finally be reunited after two years of separation. Even if the Ministry action in the summer of 2011 was in response to a report either by RCMP who located Ayn three hours after she went missing from the family back yard, or in response to a report from a member of her school staff, the interval of time from then until now is excessive. 

There was no suggestion by Ministry that Derek had abused her or neglected her. Ostensibly the action was taken to give Derek a break from his parenting load, three children, two of whom are autistic, and additionally wanted to assess Ayn to determine whether anything more could be done for her that was not being accomplished in her home. She was taken against his will. She was removed from her school. She was placed on a regimen of drugs as professionals experimented to find what worked best for her. Derek, out of personal conviction did not seek to control her behaviour by means of drugs. Ayn and Derek by all reports have a special relationship and when that was interrupted, this little girl, then ten, was distraught, and that carried on for many weeks. Derek took the position that to visit her would break her heart and provoke anxiety for her and possibly cause her to distrust him. This video may have been an emotional bridge. On the other hand, it may also have hurt Derek's spirit. 

Derek has been silent with the public for at least one year and particularly during recent months. Speculation is that the silence is part of his agreement with the Ministry, however, other factors may account for his absence from the public information trough. I am okay with that. It's far more important for Derek to have his daughter back than to feed the angry appetites of anti-Ministry protesters by venting his irritation now.  

Any assessment of Ayn and any treatment she has received did not require two years of a family's history and life opportunity for creating good memories. The Ministry's involvement could have been brief. The parents did not need to be placed in this horrific situation for so long. The three siblings did not need to be apart for all this time. These extended case times must change.

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