Charlie*, age 12, was neglected by his mother. Charlie was homeschooled.
Charlie was born in 2003 to a white mother and a First Nations father. Charlie began showing signs of autism around age three, shortly before his parents separated, although he was not diagnosed until age six. Charlie and his older brother stayed with their mother after the separation. Child services came to the home several times and Charlie was hospitalized twice, where he showed signs of neglect. In school, Charlie “thrived, working with a one-on-one aide and following an Individual Education Plan (IEP).” However, after enrolling, he “missed more than 100 days of school over two school years before he was withdrawn for homeschooling in 2011.” When he was rescued in 2016, he weighed 65 pounds, had tooth decay, and was “naked and filthy, unable to walk and living in a bedroom covered in garbage and feces.”
The abuse came to light when police responded to Charlie’s home after reports of screaming. Charlie and his brother were removed from their mother’s custody. Charlie subsequently flourished in foster care; in 2018 reports stated he was “back in school, well nourished and healthy. He is described by those who know him best as affectionate, clever and observant.”
*Charlie is a pseudonym
Date: January 2016
Location: Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Canada