The recommendations from the coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Angie Robinson and her teenage son Robert have been released.
Michelle Watson, Angie’s sister, expressed hope that these recommendations will prevent future deaths.
She adds that services and support for families and individuals with developmental disabilities are inadequate, and the inquest has brought to light the specific details of these inadequacies and systemic failures.
The majority of the inquest recommendations are directed at the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
One recommendation calls for free autism training in remote and rural communities, including Applied Behavioural Analysis.
Robert had received that therapy while living in Surrey, and the inquest heard it had helped Robert manage his self-harm.
The inquest was also told how Angie had expressed frustration at not being able to access a similar program in Prince Rupert.
The jury also recommended reviewing the $6,000 per year grant for parents with autistic children over six years old, to take into account for autistic children with higher needs.
There are other recommendations aimed at reducing the costs to parents living in remote areas, where transportation costs to and from facilities can be a major burden.
Robert’s caretaker, Solomon Garcia had testified that due to the amount of care Robert needed, many of his hours with him went under-billed because he felt sorry for Angie and genuinely enjoyed his time with Robert.
The recommendations also calls on the BC Society of Transition Houses to review their policies for accessing suitable shelters when where children and youth with special needs can’t be accommodated.
The inquest heard that Angie remained in a violent relationship because she couldn’t access transition housing and find suitable care for Robert.
Angie took the life her severely autistic son Robert, and then her own, in April 3, 2014, after expressing that she had “lost the war” and could no longer take care of her son.