Update on Child with Autism Removed From Home

Derek Hoare

Courtesy: John Van Putten

An Autism Key reader named Laurie wrote in to update us on a heartbreaking story involving Ayn Van Dyk, a nine-year-old Canadian girl seized by authorities after being safely recovered from an autism wandering episode. 

Derek Hoare, Ayn’s father, briefly lost sight of her while she was playing in their backyard, which is surrounded by a six-foot fence. He immediately called police and a frantic search found her safe over at the neighbor’s pool. Four days after the incident, Hoare’s daughter was removed from her home by authorities, who maintained they were lightening the load of the single father of three. Ayn has been held in a psychiatric facility and Derek’s nightmare has lasted nearly two months.

Laurie’s note stated the following:

"Derek is cautiously optimistic that she will be coming home. He has been asked to give details of his support team and plan that will be in place if/when she is returned to him. The autism specialist also recommended that she not be given the 6 week psychiatric assessment that was mentioned [in your article]. This is good news. You may also follow on Twitter @AynComeHome or @Justice4Ayn. I am not family — I am a volunteer trying to help raise awareness about the situation."

It seems that pressure upon the authorities by the autism community and other concerned parties may be forcing a resolution that restores this little girl to her father and brothers. May it be so.

The video below gives an overview of this story. Some adult language is included, so viewer discretion is advised.

8 Responses to Update on Child with Autism Removed From Home

  1. Ed Caracappa says:

    We can help make sure that children with autism that wander can be found quickly. Please help us spread the word!

    I also run http://www.issueswithautism.com and would like permission to republish this story. I can be reached at ed@atguardianangel.com or 877-375-7053.

    Thank you,

  2. What a nightmare. I hope the authorities get a clue soon.

  3. Susan says:

    That little girl is going to have a lot to recover from, not to mention her dad and brothers.

  4. Laurie says:

    Update since my last comments… Derek had a mtg scheduled with a Social Worker from MCFD yesterday, but received an email to say that it would have to be cancelled as he (the worker) forgot to write it in his Planner & was too busy. He would reschedule for Aug 12th. This is obviously not acceptable as Derek is completing a Support Care Team/Plan for Ayn as they requested, and Ayn should be returned to her home NOW. Please continue to send emails and phone calls to appropriate people (see documents section of the Facebook page for information). Also, if on Twitter, please follow & RT my tweets to the media @AynComeHome.

  5. We all need to help and speak up here – this is NOT in the best interest of the child or the family, so so wrong. Just because she has autism does not make this OK at all, I hope people think about “what if this were my child?” and protest big time to help this family get that little girl back home!

  6. Debbie K. says:

    I think even more especially BECAUSE she has autism, it’s important to return this child to her home, her family, her familiar surroundings IMMEDIATELY! She needs to be with the people who love her. Why on earth would they want to traumatize a child and her family, and then the social worker FORGETS to write the meeting in his planner and has to postpone for two weeks??? Just not acceptable in any way, shape or form!!!

  7. Donna Johnson says:

    That is terrible let her go home! I have beenraisingmy almost 6 year old autistic grandson his whole life now my on wants custody of him it breaks my heart because I know he can not take care of him and also I feel he would regressed from everything heads learned if he gets taken away from the only home andamily he has ever known

  8. Susan says:

    Your son would be wise to ease this transition and do it gradually and keep you in your grandson’s life on a daily basis. He should look to you to learn your skills in taking care of his son. Good luck…

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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
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