Monday, December 12, 2011


"Oh my gosh I am in tears looking at this picture. These were the days that I was with Ayn 5 days a week. She is beyond words! A child that made me want to help Autistic children for the rest of my life. There is more to Ayn than a social worker knows. Give her back!"   Robyn McHattie, a behavior therapist who worked with Ayn and Derek in their home for 2 of her preschool years.

Robyn McHattie recently reconnected with Derek and has joined the Facebook Support Group. The following account is her personal introduction to the group.................

I worked with Ayn from the time she was 1.5 until she was 3.5 years old. I moved to Alberta then and have never forgotten her. I have looked for Derek for years and finally found him and then found this group. I am sickened to hear about what is going on and it breaks my heart. Derek was THE most amazing father I have EVER met in my entire life and his life was his kids!!! He deserves his kids more then any other person I can think of. I was at their home every day for 2 years and saw the love and devotion and drive he had for his children. I will help in any way that I can!! I am now a foster parent as well as a mental health behavior worker. I look forward to talking with Derek and finding out what I can do to help!!

There is so much more to a child with Autism then anyone will ever know!! People who are naive to the disorder think horrible things and should become educated on the disability before placing a judgement.
I remember working with Ayn, and she still sounds like she has lots of the same traits. She was always very comfortable and happy and at ease at home with her family. She was an eager little girl who loved a challenge and loved it when she accomplished a goal.

Her favourite foods were peanut butter sandwiches on white bread, Mac and cheese and freezzies!! I remember how excited Derek was when Ayn was able to verbally ask for something...... And what she asked for was.....DADDY and freezzies. I remember she ate a lot of freezzies as it was a reinforcer for her language requests.
Ayn loved to be outside!!! It was her happiest place.

A child with Autism is very easily distracted so any little thing can fascinate them to try and seek the item out; maybe a butterfly, maybe a car driving by, maybe a pool and a trampoline in a neighbour’s yard. You can't watch a child’s every move 24/7.
I remember going on community outings with Ayn, they were ALWAYS fun but always challenging. She got very anxious in new settings but she LOVED the car. We went to many different places, go for bananas, the grocery store, the park, the splash park (she was never a fan of the splash park...too overwhelming) There were times it went well and very smoothly and there were times when it proved to be overwhelming for Ayn. People would judge and stare when Ayn had a tantrum but it never bothered us and we would continue on.
People should offer help instead of removing this poor little girl from the man that loves her to no end!

I can't begin to imagine how this has affected both Ayn and Derek.....and so many more. Removing this child from her familiar setting and taking her to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar faces would have been a horrible experience for her. Why would they not have offered Derik more supports in his home? More supports in school?

It takes an army to raise a child and more than that to raise an Autistic child so this amazing dad should be offered more supports instead of the removal of his loved daughter.

I have not yet had the chance to get in touch with Derek personally but hope to very soon. I will do anything in my power to help this family out. I to will release a balloon for Ayn on her birthday. I have LOTS of pictures of Ayn from when she is younger which I will try to dig out in the next few days and post.

Ayn and Derek I am thinking about you.


  1. I am so glad that Robyn has been able to reconnect with Derek and help in the fight to get Ayn back where she belongs.

    I think it is so telling that everyone, from those who have known this family for years, to those who have only recently become aware of this travesty feel that Ayn should be home with her dad. Thousands of us! MCFD needs to hear our voices and send her home.

  2. It broke my heart whenI read that she had been taken and it still breaks my heart especially today on Christmas that MCFD has decided not to allow Ayn to come home. It saddens me that she is not with her family and that MCFD hides behind "in the best interest of the child." Clearly they must know that it is NOT! How can they believe they are doing the right thing? My heart goes out to you Derek, Amie, Ayn, Lyric, Wyatt, Grandma, and Uncle Kim. I think of you guys every day and pray that this nightmare will end soon. <3