A mother in Barrington, Nova Scotia is desperately looking for help for her son whose complications with autism spectrum disorder have resulted in being unable to eat enough.
Olsson Maxwell is seven-years-old and weighs only 38 pounds. Sensory difficulties as a result of his autism have resulted in an inability to focus on eating more than a few bites of food at a time, causing his health and body to deteriorate.
“When I look at my son, my heart breaks. Others see him, and ask why he is so shockingly thin. He’s not living, he’s surviving,” says Kayla Atkinson, Olsson’s mother. “I am looking for someone in power or with an ability to do something to help, to do whatever they can to bring attention to this situation.”
Maxwell was referred to the IWK Developmental Clinic by a family doctor in Yarmouth in April of 2019. The IWK has sent the family back to local doctors because they said it wasn’t a developmental issue but a “gastro-intestinal” issue. She’s been told to use the local hospital while they wait for another appointment.
“I’ve been told that it could be another six months to a year, but without some intervention, I dread thinking about what state he will be in. It’s a terrifying prospect,” says Atkinson. “I am completely heartbroken but any mother in my shoes would continue to fight for what their child deserves.”
Argyle-Barrington MLA Colton LeBlanc says what is happening to this little boy is unacceptable.
“I’m speechless. I can’t grasp how this child has been left to deteriorate and the parents left helpless to get the resources they need,” says LeBlanc. “Minister Delorey has a responsibility to act immediately and make sure Olsson gets the help he needs. We can’t fail this boy.”