It's a parent's worst nightmare, you've discovered that your child has gone missing. You do everything right in looking for her. In desperation you phone the police for assistance. Thankfully she is found safely playing a neighbour's backyard just a few houses away. You breathe a sigh of relief and think all is well. Until a few days later when a knock on the door introduces a parenting nightmare never imagined. You must 'voluntarily' turn of your child to child protection services or they will forcibly remove her. Sounds like the plot to a novel or a movie doesn't it? It's not. It's an all too real nightmare that a father in BC is living right now.
His beautiful 9 year old daughter Ayn is autistic. Wandering is a commonly related to autism (it's estimated that 50% of children with autism wander). Upon inspection Ayn was reported to be a perfectly healthy 9 year old with no signs of abuse or neglect. She has not been returned to her home. She has been placed in a psychiatric facility for evaluation. Within 36 hours of her arrival she was placed on 3 anti-psychotic drugs (Ayn was previously not on any sort of medication). Her father (her primary caregiver) has yet to be granted any sort of visitation rights. After 18 days of straight crying from Ayn, her father was asked to provide a picture of himself for her. He complied. As soon as Ayn had it the tears stopped. At this point Ayn's father, Derek, is awaiting a hearing to have Ayn placed back into the home. The preliminary hearing is set for September.
So many questions enter my mind when I think about Ayn and her father. How could this happen? How can autism in this day and age be so misunderstood by Child Protection? How is she not back in her home? Why do they feel the need to drug her? The answer is, "I don't know". I really don't. I'm flabbergasted. If you are touched in any way by Ayn's story then I encourage you to join in helping her and her father out. I know we can't make the Ministry give her back, but we can let them know that we are watching. We can let them know that this isn't right. Here are a few ideas:
Sign the petition at the Petition site: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/bring-ayn-van-dyk-home/
Join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/152278868178942?ap=1 - there are lots more ways to help listed there
Blog about Ayn on your own blog. The more who know that this is happening the better!
Tweet @Justice4Ayn #blogforAyn
Let's see if we can help this little girl get back to her daddy where she belongs!