SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia judge has ruled that a boy who was five years old and weighed 132 pounds when he was taken from his mother will not return to her care, saying living with her was too hazardous to his health.
"It was not just a bit of excess weight or a cosmetic issue ... This was a serious health issue,'' Judge Robert Gregan said in a written decision released Monday.
Gregan said the boy gained about 18 pounds between October 2014 and May 2015, when he was 132 pounds and was taken into the care of the provincial Community Services department.
Mom was in "total denial"
The mother, he said, was in "total denial'' about the seriousness of her son's health situation.
"(The mother) stated the only reason she was seeing a pediatrician was because (Community Services) was making her do so. She was going to stop taking (the boy) to see (the doctor) because she was not accepting the medical evidence she was hearing.''
Gregan noted the boy's pediatrician said he was at risk of seriously harming his liver and other organs.
He said he accepted testimony from a Community Services witness who said the mother misled them about what she was feeding the boy, and how much exercise he was getting.
"She was going to stop taking (the boy) to see (the doctor) because she was not accepting the medical evidence she was hearing.''
The judge said the mother was also not administering the child's ADHD medications properly, and would over-medicate if she felt he was out of control.
He noted that a doctor said he was a "wonderful little boy, but very much caught up in his imaginary world.''
Dr. Reginald Landry recommended testing him for autism and said it would require "significant resources'' to parent the boy.
"The (boy's) ... development, particularly in the social domain, will require more than simply 'adequate' parenting,'' the decision said, quoting Landry's parental capacity assessment.
"(The boy) will likely benefit from care-giving situations that will support his social development and ensure that he is developing appropriate peer relationships with other children.''
Landry also said the mother had cognitive issues estimated to be in the mild range of an intellectual disability.
Apartment was infested with mice
As well, Gregan said he had a number of concerns about the mother's living conditions when the child was living there, noting a number of mice infestations in her apartment including a sofa that was a "nest of mice.''
Gregan ordered that the boy — who is now seven years old, under 80 pounds and "thriving'' — be placed in the permanent care of Community Services.
The decision — first delivered orally Jan. 5 — said the boy's father consented to Community Services' custody of the child without access to seeing him.
Gregan dismissed a claim that the mother had bit the boy on the arm, saying Community Services' record was incomplete and hearsay evidence from the son was unreliable. He accepted the evidence of the mother that she did not bite her son.