Child with Autism Taken by Authorities, Remains in Custody

ayn van dyk

Ayn and Derek in Happier Times

Today is January 31, 2012. For Derek Hoare, this simply means it’s day number 230 — the number of days his 10-year-old daughter with autism has been kept from him by Child Protective Services (MCFD) in Canada.

The tragedy began in Abbotsford, British Columbia on June 16, 2011 when Canadian authorities removed Ayn Van Dyk from her home after a wandering-related incident. 

Hoare, a single father of three, briefly lost sight of Ayn while she was playing in the family’s backyard, which was surrounded by a 6-foot fence. Hoare immediately called police and a frantic search found her safe over in a nearby neighbor’s backyard. 

Four days after the incident, Canadian authorities whisked Ayn away to a psychiatric facility where she was given dangerous and powerful antipsychotic drugs, maintaining they were simply lightening Hoare’s load. Ayn has been kept away from the family ever since.

We have previously covered this story, never believing this nightmare would continue for so long. Unfortunately, it has and by the looks of it, could continue for the foreseeable future. 

Last week on a blog supporting Ayn, Derek was quoted as saying the process of getting his daughter back could continue well into 2013 and is being handled through a painfully slow legal system.

We need to rally around Derek and draw additional media attention to this story. The fanfare has died down because the process has taken so long but in the meantime, the Canadian government continues to steal precious time away from this beautiful little girl and her father — time that they will never be able to get back.

Government intrusion in the lives of its citizens continues to increase and if situations like these are allowed to continue, they will only repeat themselves — next time, it may even be your child. Spread the word of this injustice and help bring Ayn home:

Twitter:  @Justice4Ayn


Main Site for Ayn:


15 Responses to Child with Autism Taken by Authorities, Remains in Custody

  1. Mirna Ruiz says:

    I live in California please let me know what I can
    Do from here.

  2. This case is shameful!

  3. Elena mercado says:

    I can’t believe that! I also have a daughter with severe Autism. I had the same situation happened to me the year 2005. My daughter then was almost 7 years old. we lived in an apartment complex, and the complex was closed to a main busy street. She got out of the house and wandered around the street. A good Samaritan jogger found her wondering by herself, and when she noticed that she was by herself and couldn’t speak, she called the police. My oldest daughter at that time was watching her and she fell asleep. This was around about 8pm at night. She was able to open the door and that’s how she got out. When we got home, police attack me with child negligence, and they were very upset. Luckily, they didn’t take her away from me.The CPS got involved and had to question the rest of the family. The CPS was involved with the family for a while, in a positive way. I think it depends who your CPS worker is..? Your CPS worker is the one that reports everything. If your CPS has no clue about Autism, then your CPS worker is Ignorant! Changed your CPS worker. You CPS worker matters. That’s the reason why your daughter got taken away, because of the CPS reports. I live in California. British Columbia might have a different rules. Hope you get your daughter back soon.

  4. Lori mitchell says:

    Omg!!! How can they do this? This does happen. It’s happend to all of us at some point. They don’t understand danger at all! Shame on them. Return her to her father she must be terrified! Monsters!!!

  5. Mea says:

    This is the work of the Fraser Region MCFD who are also responsible – and, most notably, the Director, Bruce McNeill – for the absolutely appalling attack upon another good family, the Baynes. The story of what MCFD did to the Baynes was so appalling that it was eventually covered by CBC’s Fifth Estate.

    Thank you, Gary Porter, for writing about Derek and Ayn and letting the world know that we cannot tolerate this cruelty.

    Someone should write an article on Bruce McNeill, as he has been behind these stories for some time now.

  6. Anne says:

    The damage they are doing to that family is despicable. Separating her from the only people she is comfortable with is doing irreparable harm! My (Asperger’s) son was taken away from me for just a few days when he was 5 because he said he wanted to be in heaven with his grandpa, who had lived with us and had very recently died. His school social worker said that was a suicide threat and that I was negligent because I tried to explain that he didn’t mean he wanted to kill himself; he just didn’t know how to phrase it in a socially acceptable manner. So many “professionals” don’t understand autism at all!

  7. cristina m kassama bag says:

    In my opinion Ayn must stay together with her family, her father really wish to give all treatment as possible to Ayn, and I completely disagree with kind of drugs to change behaviour of autistic children, as mother of recovery autistic and hyper child, I know the only way for Ayn to recover faster is to receive love from her parents, in this case her father Derek, and all family , relatives and friends, autistic ppl need love first of all, and only family can give for her the real love. The reason I do support this case is because I totally disagree with risperdal and ritalin, those drugs cause so many bad effect to their small bodies , and this way they have less chance for full recovery!! Is very coward the way government took Ayn away from her own home, only heartless ppl can do this kind of thing, they can not imagine the pain fathers and mothers fell when their own children stay away from them!! I can not imagine even one day without my son so I can imagine how Derek and all her family may feel right now!! Hope some miracle happen!! because is too unfair this case!! If government really wish to help this small girls they must send her back to home and help somehow about biomedical treatment, education and therapies not only for her but all autistic ppl.

  8. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for keeping this “on the radar”. It is sickening to me that this little girl has had to endure such abuse and torture from the Ministry of Children and Families. They do not have any knowledge of Autism, or how terribly damaging it is for Ayn to be away from her family. If they did, she would be home with her dad right now. The scary thing is, that if it can happen to this family, it can happen to any family, and that is just unacceptable.

  9. Mom of Two Autistic Kids says:

    I heard of this happening in the states I can’t believe our own Government are proceeding down the same narrowminded path.when are these law makers and social workers gonna get with the program and become educated about autism.this is a nightmare as it is for parents when our little ones slip away.not because we are careless but because our kids are just that quick and quiet at doing it.also they have no sense of danger awareness.maybe if the canadian law would permit us to use proper high locks to keep the children from autism wandering out of the home then we wouldn’t be terrified the minute we go to the bathroom or cook supper our autiskids wouldn’t wander off to get to whatever it is that has attracted their attention!It is our worst nightmare to have our children wander off now we have to be terrified that the system who is supposted to be trustworthy and supportive to parents instead we have to fear these people will take our children away punishing us as if we are neglectful all the while they are pumping dangerous meds into our kids!! where is the sanity in this decision.which idiot came up with the reasoning that this was a logical answer?? obviously someone without special needs kids or kids period. And obviously the decision maker of this law should have chisen another career because they are not helping the child removing them from the only reassuring environment they feel safe in then moving them to a foster home,safe house whatever, where they can wander off from the same way how is this sensible?!!I tell ya this has stirred up alot of unsettled emotions of loving parents who have one or more children with autism.This has to stop!

  10. Mistie Delorey says:

    This is so sad I cried and they think abusing her, with multiple dangerous medications, is a better way to go? Someone making these decisions has a screw loose! This father and child should be reunited and compensated in what ever way needed ASAP. What a sad state of affairs! These children on the spectrum are going without the therapies they need to obtain a better quality of life all because Autism is the only condition that therapies/treatments are not covered through medicare and then as a result of being denied the ability to obtain adequate treatment/therapies one of these children do what is typical of their condition, *”runners”*, they are then punished by being drugged and torn away from everyone they ever knew and cared about and for a little girl who is said to be non verbal anyone can hear her cry for her dad and family loud and cream through her actions in worshiping her fathers picture day is and out. My heart goes out to you and your family. My son is severely autistic we live in New Brunswick. If this ever happened to my son I would be suing them. The damage they have now caused this little girl and his family is unforgivable so they better start apologizing ASAP. This little girl has it hard enough being autistic without the system, which is supposed to be in place to help in these very situations, making it worse. May you continue to find the strength to carry out this sad and uncalled for battle and know that you have amazing support for this cause. If I lived closer I would be pretesting for her release into your rightful custody. do you have anyone willing and able to do such a thing? It would stir up a refreshed awareness get the media re involved and perhaps put pressure on the government to speed up the process. This is so uncalled for I feel so terrible for you while I can only imagine myself in that situation I still can’t cope with even the thought. hugs,love and hope to you as you also represent what could happen to any one of us. There needs to be some awareness,compassion and tolerance exercised by the government autism roughly affects 1 in 100 children and they all manage to put themselves in questionable positions at some point and some more often than others taking them all away is not going to be the answer. Also by what standard does the government feel drugging a child, just so they don’t have to deal with the child’s natural behaviours and reaction to being ripped away from everything that child knows, for no acceptable reason given the situation, is ever acceptable let alone the answer? I am so sorry this happened and hope it never happens again. Mistie Delorey

  11. mother of an adult autistic says:

    it’s really distressing to see the abuse inflicted in this young child and her father. what abuse of power, taking the child away from his father, what a trauma for the child! heartbreaking for a parent! not to mention the unjustified amounts of tranquilizers aka antipsychotics prescribed to a small child, not just one but three : risperdal, seroquel and clorazine (?), it’s absolutely criminal, don’t they realize that her heart can stop any time? it’s time that this type of psychiatric “treatment” on innocent children, autistic or not, is banned. there has been previous cases in which families lost a child to the state and tried to get the child back through the courts with lawyers and because it was in the judicial system no MPs wanted to help. the world is going crazy, god helps us all!

  12. Angie Groves says:

    I live in Australia and my youngest daughter, almost 13, has Autism.
    I was so distressed and angry to read Derek’s story. To steal Ayn away from her family who love her and understand Autism, to lock her away and drug her, is criminal and disgusting!! Psychiatric facilities are not for children with ASD.
    Please everyone do what you can to help Derek and his family. The media must be involved!
    Love to the Hoare family. xxxx

  13. Father of two autistic kids says:

    This is despicable! Child Protection Services should do what they are suppose to be doing and protect children! Taking children away from loving families and giving them antipsychotic drugs is not protecting children. Families with autistic kids have it hard enough without the government coming in and making a bad situation worse. Nobody is going to love that little girl more than her father will. Nobody is going to care for her like he will! Give little Ayne back to her father!!!

  14. Clara says:

    No words can possibly describe the daily terror in which you must live. To think this could happen, then to have the process take so long is unforgivable. You and your family will be in my prayers until you get your daughter back. I will pray for her especially because no one knows what she is going through. This is cruel. To think there are children who should actually be taken from abusive parents and they are not. The system is messed up. Please continue to have strength and faith in God that something will be done to correct this injustice.

  15. Linda Norman says:

    She must be returned to her family. They need support not punishment

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