Mom: Exhausted and out of choices in leaving son at gov't office

May 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM
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OTTAWA, May 1 (UPI) -- The parents of a 19-year-old autistic adult say they were exhausted and out of options when they left him at a Canadian government office.

Amanda Telford said she hasn't been able to get help for her son Phillip from the inadequately staffed and underfunded social system in Ottawa, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

Telford said her son suffers from a form of autism in which he functions at the level of a 2-year-old. He also has Tourette's syndrome and insulin-dependent diabetes.

He often wanders away, she said, and he recently ended up 2 1/2 miles away at a dangerous intersection.

Telford, who is a social worker, said she and her husband "are absolutely exhausted and medically unwell. I am not able to do this anymore."

She said she had contacted every government agency available, including her member of Parliament, but found there are few services for developmentally disabled adults, CTV reported.

Everyone has treated her respectfully, Telford said: "This isn't about people not doing their jobs. This is about a system being at capacity and a lack of funding for adults with developmental disabilities."

Phillip is now at a place he has been before, but it only provides short term, respite and emergency care, she noted.

She feels it's now up to the government to find Phillip a long-term solution

The office of Ottawa's ombudsman is slated to release a report next month about the availability of social services for adults such as Phillip.

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