EXCLUSIVE: B.C. dad of teen with autism who hits himself pleads for ministry help

Father of autistic teen pleads for help
WATCH: A Burnaby dad is pleading for help, saying no longer knows how to manage his autistic son. The father's cry for help has gone unanswered and, as Catherine Urquhart reports, he fears time is running out.

Mike Chand is desperate to help his 18-year-old son Akash, who has autism and hits himself constantly.

Chand said he no longer knows how to manage his son and that his pleas for help have gone unanswered.

“We have to fight the ministry, we had to fight the doctors, we had to fight the hospitals,” he said. “When does this fight stop?”

At times, Akash has punched himself so hard, he has ended up covered in bruises.

“My son has been hitting himself up to 400 to 1,400 times with a full fist to the right side of his head,” Chand said.

The Burnaby father said he and his ex-wife have pleaded with the Ministry of Children and Family Development for emergency help.

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“I need full-time help, his mother needs full time help at home,” Chand said. “My son is hitting himself at home. We need someone for overnight … because I have to work and they told me, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t do anything.'”

In an emailed response to Global News, the ministry said, “in circumstances like this the ministry would look to extend services like autism funding, respite help for the parents, and one-to-one assistance, for instance through a behavioural consultant.”

With Akash aging out of the ministry’s care this year, Chand fears time is running out for his son to receive the help he so badly needs.

“He turns 19 in November and, at this point, from what I can see every time I knock on that ministry door it’s, ‘I’m sorry we can’t do anything.’

“So now CLBC [Community Living British Columbia] will kick in when he’s done with the ministry. They’re trying to help but they don’t have the funding to do anything with him.”
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– With files from Catherine Urquhart