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Three years earlier, Johnathan had been identified as ­having Asperger’s, now considered autism spectrum disorder.

Though Townsend was diagnosed with that condition in 2011, it would take another year before he was diagnosed with conduct disorder—and a year after that before his parents even learned about this second diagnosis.

A behavioural and emotional disorder affecting children and teens, conduct disorder is often considered to be a precursor to anti-social personality disorder; typical symptoms include chronic spates of violence, cruelty to people or animals, and a lack of remorse.

His behaviour escalated when his parents ­divorced.

He’d punch walls and destroy toys, his anger rising like a ­diabetic spike, disappearing as quickly as it had come.

­Upper continued to see him regularly, though, because she still believed she could help him.

On the morning of August 8, Upper had picked up Townsend at Algoma University, where he often went to use the free Wi-Fi, and had taken him to an orthodontist appointment.

The survey called Ontario’s approach to autism care “uncoordinated, severely lacking limited services and supports.” The report found that families are left to navigate a long list of government ­agencies that ­barely communicated with one ­another.

“They keep saying that Johnathan fell through the cracks,” Upper says. He was pushed.” Nor would addressing his have been enough.

He languished on waiting lists and was sent home from the hospital.

What’s more, the limited support he did receive vanished almost completely once he turned eighteen. In 2013, the University of Toronto published a survey of 480 individuals with .

She was at the hospital with him and found him distant and listless, which is usually how he ­behaved after an outburst of violence.