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Montreal woman with autism forced to leave day program

07/14/2015 08:31 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT
After 12 years of attending a special day program, a woman with autism and a serious mood disorder has been told she needs to leave.

Joanna, the mother of 37-year-old Anne-Marie Lefebvre, received the news from the West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC).

"This is a total shock to me," Lefebvre told CBCHomerun's Steve Rukavina.

According to Lefebvre, the managers at the centre said the reason her daughter would no longer be able to attend the centre was because her new home is too far away and transportation would be more costly.

The day program that Anne-Marie attends now is in Pointe-Claire. Her former residence was in Beaconsfield, but she will be moving to her new home in Île-Perrot on Aug. 12 — making for a longer drive for the usual caregiver.

"It doesn't make sense that you buy a house that far and then, oops, that would be too complex to transport her," said Lefebvre,

CBC sent out an interview request to WMRC, but they did not respond.

Lefebvre said the director of the WMRC called her Monday morning and told her that they were working on finding a solution.

Lefebvre wants a written confirmation of what will happen.

Anne-Marie doesn't know she will not be able to attend the day program anymore.

Lefebvre said she has not had the heart to tell her daughter the news. She's worried she would take the news badly and could react by hurting herself.  

"She'd be confused, she'd be sad, she'd be distressed, she'd be anxious…She'd regress — she'd lose the skills that she has," she said.

Lefebvre said the day program taught her daughter invaluable skills including woodwork, horticulture, crafts, cleaning and cooking.

"It's an excellent program I can't speak enough about it."

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