Ottawa teen with autism finds place to stay

An Ottawa teen whose family left him in the care of the government has found a home, potentially for the next few months.

Philipp Telford to live in group home after parents declare they can no longer care for him

A teenager with autism whose parents said they couldn’t care for him anymore has found a semi-permanent place to stay.

Amanda Telford left her 19-year-old son Philipp at a provincial Developmental Services Ontario office on Tuesday, saying his family was exhausted and couldn’t keep him safe.

Philipp has a severe form of autism that leaves him unable to speak. He functions at the level of a two-year-old and has Tourette’s syndrome and insulin-dependent diabetes.

His mother said Thursday the agency has found temporary space for him at an Ottawa group home.

Space available for weeks or months

She said she was told that space would be available for weeks, maybe even months.

He’ll also be getting medical care for his diabetes from a Community Care Access Centre

Philipp spent the first few nights after being given up at a south Ottawa hospice, one his mother said he’d been going to off and on since he was 16 years old.

Amanda Telford says three incidents over the weekend made her realize she can't keep her son Philip safe any longer. (CBC) (CBC)

She told CBC News on Tuesday the breaking point for her family was last weekend, when Philipp wandered away twice and swallowed 14 blood pressure pills in one sitting.

She said she’d been in contact with all levels of government and had been told there was no room for her son in the crowded, under-funded social system.

Autism Ontario said Friday the lack of specific mention of autism in Thursday’s provincial budget is concerning, especially the "unacceptable" general lack of commitment to addressing adults in crisis.

The group said in a news release it is encouraged by efforts to reduce wait times and help students transition at school.