No place for autistic man except prison
A 31-year-old autistic man from the Montreal area found himself behind bars because of a lack of space at the Pinel Psychiatric Institute and a lack of resources for autistic adults in general.
Jean-François Lindsay was sent to the psychiatric ward at Laval's Cité de la Sante hospital after hitting a family member earlier this year. He was then arrested four months later after hitting a hospital worker. During the court hearing, a psychiatrist recommended he be sent to the Pinel Psychiatric Institute. But due to lack of space, he was jailed instead at the St. Jerôme prison for three weeks.
"It's totally unacceptable," said Jo-Ann Lauzon, director general of the Quebec Federation of Autism, adding all this shuffling around shows the glaring lack of resources for autistic adults.
"There are a few services for adults, but very few. The majority of adults are on waiting lists for services," Lauzon said.
Lauzon said the Quebec government's recent $35-million dollar injection into services for the physically and mentally disabled and people with developmental problems is encouraging but only a small step forward since only a small part will go towards services for the autistic.