Mister Prime Minister,
You did us the honour of inviting us on April 6 for the presentation of the national strategy for autism. After the launch of the consultation by the Head of State in July 2017 at the Elysee Palace, we were pleased to see the government's commitment to our children. Many of the measures you announced were indeed real advances, although many points remain to be clarified and even if the resources allocated will not allow to offer a suitable place to all those who need it most.
Then, for several months, everything seemed to have stopped in the governmental authorities in charge of this matter until, abruptly, last week, in the middle of the summer, the composition of the National Council of the TSA and the TND was released. No representative of family associations supporting the pluralism of approaches and taking into account the psychic life of autistic people was invited. And this is hardly better on the side of professional organizations.
These exclusives are contrary to the most basic democratic principles as well as to the commitments of openness of the President of the Republic. You have been able to make ministers of very different political traditions work together in your government, why should the world of autism be the only area where thought and one-party rule reign?
We cannot accept such a regression, therefore the RAAHP (which brings together several associations of parents and service users) and the association AEVE (Autism Hope Towards School) have decided to publicly express their discontent by signing and by publishing the “communiqué” that you will find attached.
In the hope that you are committed to accept no monopoly thought and to restore as soon as possible the pluralism essential to all democratic life, I beg you to accept, Mr. Prime Minister, my respectful greetings.
President of RAAHP
Press release from RAAHP and AEVE
The composition of the new National Council
of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
A new world modeled on the old
We take the same as before and we start again. We favor representatives of a single approach to autism, yet discredited by a 2016 official report and scandals of repeated abuse, and we continue to say that we rely on science. We deny psychic suffering in autism and claim to be listening to our children. We walk briskly in the footsteps of MP Daniel Fasquelle and we forget
that his proposals on autism have been rejected by almost unanimous colleagues.
What a disappointment after so many beautiful promises!
It had started rather well. For the first time in a presidential campaign, the drama of autism was not ignored. For the first time, a modest beginning of pluralism had been respected in the preparation of the 4th autism plan and in the elaboration of the latest recommendations of the HAS (Haute Autorité de Santé). And the proof had been made that the elementary democratic rules could also work in the closed world of autism, that they allowed to open it and to avoid repeating in a loop the same
As in all fields there is no single, universal and eternal truth in autism. The contributions of each stream of thought should be recognized.
The RAAHP has contributed to the daily well-being of autistic people through its reflections on a suitable architecture that have been included in the institutions, calls for projects and recommendations for autistic adults of the HAS. For the 4th Autism Plan, he developed indicators of the quality of interventions that would make it possible to evaluate field practices easily and without ideological a priori.
AEVE has just obtained a validating publication for its 3i method, based on play and imitation. Hundreds of children in very great difficulty have already been included and able, thanks to it and without forcing, to join ordinary schooling or, at least, to make great progress.
Most leaders of our respective associations are authors of many publications on autism at renowned publishers.
So why again such sectarianism? Do some people want to relaunch the sterile wars of religions that a beginning of pluralistic concertation had calmed down?
We still hope that this is only a casting error and that the principles of exemplarity, openness and pragmatism regularly recalled by the President of the Republic will eventually be heard in the offices of all ministries and all state services.