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A Culture of Abuse: Autism Care in France

David Heurtevent www.supportthewall.org France’s population is about 65 million. Assuming an autism prevalence of about 1 in 110,  approximately 590,000 autistics live in France. The French education system contains about 13 million students in a two-tiered educational system: most children attend schools overseen by the Ministry of National Education, but approximately 100,000 students found to have significant disabilities — very few of whom have autism — attend schools run by the Ministry of Health. Most autistics are not educated at all. Significantly, childhood psychiatry in France is dominated by psychoanalysts, who (broadly speaking) view childhood behavioral issues as evidence of disturbances in the relationship between the child and the parents, particularly the mother. Psychoanalytic treatment therefore is not behavioral or educational, but seeks to change the child’s emotions. According to Chantal Sicile-Kira, whose autistic son was born in France, autistic children “had no right to an education. Instead, they were…