As a sleepless Amanda Telford waited to hear where her severely autistic son will go next, experts say Ontario has virtually no help to offer parents of disabled adults. Telford and her husband, Alex, dropped their 19-year-old son Philippe at a social service agency on Montreal Road Tuesday because they’re too exhausted to care for him.
This is how desperate parents scream loudly enough to be heard in Ontario in 2013. They do what Ottawa’s Amanda Telford did Tuesday morning when, sick with exhaustion and desperation, she drove her 19-year-old severely autistic son Philippe to a provincial government office on Montreal Road, dropped him off, and drove away. “It’s the most heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching feeling in the world to have to do this,” she later told a reporter.
An Ottawa couple made a heart-wrenching decision today to leave their severely-autistic son at an Ontario government office. Amanda Telford and her husband say that caring for their developmentally delayed son has left them both ill and at the breaking point.
The Ontario Ombudsman's investigation into the province's services for adults with developmental disabilities has drawn close to 500 complaints at its halfway point and, he said, has tried his staff emotionally.
"We're hearing things that are pretty staggering," said ombudsman Andre Marin, by phone from Toronto.
"When we launched this investigation we had 63, 64 cases. We've up to close to 500, which we never expected."
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin warns there will be no “credible accountability” at ORNGE unless long-awaited new legislation to reform the troubled air ambulance service gives him oversight powers. In a letter to Health Minister Deb Matthews obtained by the Star, Marin says the creation of a patient advocate’s post is well short of what’s needed to restore public confidence in the agency.
Complaints about the dire shortage of services for young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities have jumped almost eightfold since Ontario’s ombudsman launched an investigation in November. André Marin announced his probe on Nov. 29 after receiving 64 complaints in 2012, up sharply from previous years.
On February 20, 2013, Ombudsman André Marin spoke with Charles Adler about his latest investigation into provincial services for adults with developmental disabilities in crisis. The radio interview played across the country on a number of stations.
In less than 15 minutes, Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin -- a man who has clashed with city councillors and is generally supported by the public -- was out as the city's closed-meeting investigator, and a private company was in. Ward 3 Coun. Claude Berthiaume brought up a surprise-to-some motion toward the end of Tuesday night's city council meeting to reconsider its 2011 decision to appoint Marin as its investigator.
Police work means being confronted with situations that cause considerable emotional distress. Yet we don’t hear a lot about police officers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. More commonly, media attention is devoted to military employees dealing with the same mental illness issues.
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin believes it's a matter of when, not if, the Province of Ontario gives his office the authority to oversee institutions in the so-called MUSH sectors. They include municipalities, universities, school boards, hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, police services and children's aid societies.