Parents of boy with autism oppose plan to move him

Parents of a 12-year-old boy with autism are fighting a plan to move him from a care home in Mississauga to one two hours away in Stratford.

Parents of Toby McKeon, 12, want him kept at Mississauga facility, not moved to Stratford

David and Teena McKeon say their son Toby, who has autism, will suffer if he's moved from a care facility in Mississauga to one in Stratford. (CBC )

The parents of a child in the custody of the Children's Aid Society of Peel Region are fighting a plan to move him to a care home in Stratford.

Toby McKeon, 12, has autism and currently lives at a facility in Mississauga.

Four years ago, his parents made the difficult decision to turn his care over to the CAS when Toby's behaviour turned violent and unpredictable.

"We had no choice but to seek options and we had to place him in residential care," said his father David.

On Tuesday, Toby's parents learned that a change in the facility's operator will mean Toby will be moved to a facility in Stratford.

Alan Mills is with Christian Horizons, which is contracted by the CAS to run Toby's home. He said the contract is coming to an end due to low demand.

"There just wasn't really the demand for this service, in order for it to operate at capacity," he told CBC News.

Move to Stratford 'will crush him'

David McKeon said he was initially told Toby would be moved to a facility in Peel region and now fears he's about to lose Toby for a second time.

"To move to Stratford is crushing us, and will crush him," he said.

A key concern for the McKeons is that the move will mean he has to switch schools, where Toby gets special care.

​In a statement to CBC News, the Peel CAS says it's working with the parents to resolve their concerns.

McKeon, however, says they're not doing enough.

"The way this whole situation has been handled is absolutely deplorable," he said.

Toby's parents want the CAS to find a way to keep her son in the region. They also want CAS to keep the facility operating until they find a long-term placement for Toby that's closer to home.

"This is about ensuring he gets the quality of life he deserves," said Teena McKeon, Toby's mother. "He's already gone through so much in his short life. Everything we've worked so hard to put in place is here for him."


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