According to the recommendation of the HAS (High Health Authority), an autism diagnosis should be supervised by specialised medical professionals, such as psychiatrists or neuropediatrics. Autism diagnostic for children is based on a set of clinical signs gathered by practitioners in different situations. First of all, an interview with the parents is conducted to study the social reactions of the child. Then clinical observations and exams allow the gathering of specific information about the child (psychological, linguistic, behaviour and psychomotor examination). Generally, the diagnostic takes place over several half days.
Dealing efficiently with autism requires a diagnostic, an evaluation and most importantly an early intervention. Indeed, it is essential for the child receive early care in order to reduce the eventual behaviour disorder and improve his social and linguistic skills. In terms of guiding, each person exibits specific needs and should follow an personalised program.
Workshops for parents
The ASD diagnosed child develops and communicates differently. It is an essential step to understand the child in order to interact with him/her the best way possible. Just as parents of deaf children learn sign language, it is vital that parents of children with ASD learn to communicate and interact with them. The HAS ( HIgh Health Authority) has recommended those behaviour methods.
When there is a consistency between methods used by parents, the educational team as well as health professionals, the child evolves in a comforting place. In that way everything he/she does leads to the same reaction from the surrounding adults, whatever the present situation.
Such consistency favours fast progress.
In the case where the child with ASD is capable of going to school, attending school is the best way for him/her to socialise. To accomplish this goal, it is important for the educational team and the potential shadow teacher to be well trained in appropriate methods.
An ABA program can be established simultaneously at home.
The teaching units in nursery schools are specialised classes established within schools. They welcome at the most 7 children between 3 and 6 years of age. It is a medico-social measure: teaching, educational and therapy interventions are provided by a team consisting of a teacher and medico-social professionals.
The future evolution towards primary schools and beyond will depend on the progress made by the child:
•Schooling in a regular school with or without a shadow teacher. This solution most often concerns children with mild or early-onset autism.
• Organised schooling with integration in a regular school but in a specific class : in CLIS ( Social Inclusion class in primary school) then in ULIS (Localised Unit for social inclusion in secondary and high school)
•Schooling in IME (medico-educational institution) or in day care hospital. This solution enables children with a form of autism or cognitive disorder to attend school in a specific environment, suitable with their needs.
•Home schooling is less favourable to socialising. However, the family is helped by professionals, as those from SESSAD (Specialized education service and home care), in order to define the most suitable educational program.