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The last thing Keith Encinas wants to do is take his 20-year-old son to hospital for emergency psychiatric care.

But because of wait times for programs that help adults with autism, the Victoria dad says it may be the only way his son can get urgent necessary support.

Encinas's son Conner was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was two years old.

Despite significant cognitive and language challenges, Conner thrived in support programs offered through his schools in Victoria, Encinas said.

But when he aged out of the school system at 19 and lost those supports, his behaviour became more than the family could handle.

"When he is with us he requires 100 per cent of our attention. I have four other kids. It's just impossible," Encinas said.

Wait for supportive housing

In an effort to solve the situation, Conner moved to Saskatchewan to try to live with his mother, but his behaviour issues escalated and he showed violent tendencies.

There was no choice but to admit Conner to a psychiatric facility in Saskatoon, Encinas said.

The stay was meant to stabilize Conner until appropriate supportive housing could be found in the community. But months later, Encinas says there are no prospects of that happening for his son.

Both parents have decided that Conner should move back to B.C.

He has since been approved for residential care services through Community Living B.C. — the crown agency that provides housing and support for those with developmental disabilities.

But the agency can't say when a placement may be found, leaving Conner in a psychiatric facility that's not appropriate for his long-term needs, Encinas said.

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