May 02, 2013
By Jane Brown
An Ottawa mother calls it the most gut-wrenching decision she’s ever made. Amanda Telford says she was at her breaking point when she decided to drop off her 19 year old autistic son, Philippe, at a provincial government office on Tuesday and leave him there. Telford says she can no longer care for her son, who has the mental capacity of a two year old and doesn’t speak. She took him to the Ottawa Office of Developmental Services Ontario, which is responsible for finding living arrangements for adults with developmental disabilities. She says her son wandered away from home several times over the last few weeks and she spent Monday at a hospital after he took prescription medication that he wasn’t supposed to take. Telford says she has been unable to get enough help from social services, so is hopeful that delivering her son to the office will draw attention to their plight. She’s been on the waiting list of Developmental Services Ontario for a year and a half.
The Muki Baum Foundation provides support to children and adults with autism and other complext diabilities. The organization’s gala fundraising event is on Tuesday at the Toronto Reference Library. Our own Libby Znaimer is the guest speaker. There’s more information online at mukibaumfoundation.com