Saturday, March 3, 2012


Every day I come to this blog to change the date and the day count for this unbelievable story. I keep thinking this can't go on much longer but it looks like MCFD plans will have me doing this until day 611. I am a very passionate advocate for those on the autism spectrum and this little girl has stolen my heart. Not a day goes by, likely many hours everyday, that I don't think about her and her family and pray that they will soon be reunited.

On June 16, 2011 Ayn, then 9 years old, was "legally kidnapped" from school. I say "legally" because that would be the claim of this Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Provincial Government of British Columbia, Canada. I say "kidnapped" because she was abducted from school by people she did not know, against her father's wishes; taken to a house she did not know and then to a hospital she did not know where she was heavily drugged to control her behavior. The hospital did release Ayn with a written report for a clean bill of health, no signs of neglect or abuse.

I am trying to think if I have ever known a 9 year old child who would not be very frightened in this situation and lash out at those they would perceive to be attackers. Would a child understand why this was happening, why school staff would let it happen, why their parent didn't stop this? I don't think so. And, this little girl is autistic and would have  greater difficulty and certainly not be able to communicate her fears any other way than behaviorally.

Months ago her abductors, MCFD, told her parents they would be sending her home. They have never stated just cause for the aprehension, just that they thought her dad might be overwhelmed having 3 children, 2 of them being autistic. However, they made this assumption without having ever observed Ayn in her home with her Dad and brothers. Had they done so, they would have seen a very happy home where all children were thriving with their very devoted, loving full time at home Dad. Of course if they have been listening the past 8 months, they would now know the latter facts to be true.

I am thinking it is safe to assume that their knowledge of autism was very limited as well. One would have hoped that by now, 8 months later, they would have consulted with specialists and had become very knowledgeable about autism and particularly how it affects Ayn's ability to communicate, to understand what is happening. But alas this must not have happened yet, otherwise they would not be still holding her in custody and they would not be punishing her for having meltdowns. Any punishment would be wrong, but in this case the punishment was to deprive her of a visit with her mother who she hadn't seen for months. This punishment has lasted a month, the length of time it took for them to reshedule a visit. Ayn's mom has been told she will be able to visit Ayn on March 6 unless of course she has a meltdown, then she will again receive the same punishment. The question is are they telling Ayn ahead of time about this visit? Those who are familiar with autism would be thinking that the meltdown would be a result of Ayn not being able to deal with the emotions she is feeling, unable to communicate, not understanding why she has to wait etc. MCFD staff have been told that it would be best to not tell Ayn ahead of time about the visit, just let her enjoy the happiness the visit will bring to her. We can only hope they will do this. Here is an excellent resource for those with questions about autism wanting to understand what autism is about and how they can be supportive

Now, in the past 8 months, Ayn's parents have done all they were asked to do by MCFD. Dad work tirelessly on a porposal he was asked to prepare and submit. He received to recognition of receipt of this porposal. With every rare opportunity to meet with MCFD there is hope that a happy ending is near. On Day 222 Ayn's parents finally had an opportunity to speak at a case conference, a judge present. Not only did they still not hear a reason for Ayn's abduction but trial dates were set to begin next December for a duration of 69 days. Yes, and that will bring the length of Ayn's custody time to 611 days. To this date she has had several visits with her mom, none for months now and none from any other family member. her brothers miss her terribly. To understand her dad's reason please read For those who understand autism and how it plays out in Ayn's life dad is doing the best thing he can do for his daughter.

This week Ayn's parents had opportunities to meet MCFD in mediation. It would seem that they will not be allowed to speak about these proceedings but we do know that it was a nightmare. This is very sad news indeed and brings me to continue to ask "HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING IN ABBOTSFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA and WHY???"

Are you a parent and if so what would you do in this case?
Do you have a child with autism and if so what are your thoughts?
Are you a specialist in the field of autism; what would your advice be?
Are you family or friend to Ayn and her family, what are your observations?

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