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Testimony of parents

Mr. and Mrs. Mestre are respectively Professor with the "aggregation" in Law and Lecturer of Law at the University Robert Schuman in Strasbourg.

February, 7th 2008

Our two little boys are 6 and 4 years old. They were diagnosed with a medium-level form of autism. They are sweet and very affectionate but very early, they showed difficulty concentrating and communicating (above all, it was impossible for them to acquire verbal language).

Since this diagnosis was made around the age of 2, doctors recommended us to start care at a day hospital for child psychiatry, assuring us that there was no other possibility of treatment. There, they met children suffering from diverse developmental disorders. Some of them were subject to frequent tantrums and screaming fits and could even be violent sometimes. Our children were offered no training that would have been likely to stimulate them. Therefore, they made no progress at all. Sleeping disorders and anxiety (especially in case of a separation or change of location) carried on and worsened. Since the prescription of Theralène (drug used to treat certain types of insomnia) had shown to be efficient, we didn't understand - and neither did we accept - the desire of the medical staff to give our eldest son a powerful anxiolytic drug, considering he had never been aggressive towards himself or his environment.

Almost a year ago, I read a press article about the son of a French comedian, Francis Perrin. This article gave an account of the spectacular progress made by the child thanks to a care system using the ABA method. Other press articles, reports, investigations on the Internet, testimonies as well as the generalization of this method in North-America and the rest of Western-Europe seemed convincing. Therefore, I contacted Mrs. Vinca Rivière who is head of a university department training young psychologists specialized in Applied Behavior Analysis. We then chose this treatment for our children.

The special care started in September 2007 and gradually reached 40 hours a week (at school and at home); the children no longer went to the day hospital. Five months have passed since then and the results are spectacular. Even if the treatment started late for our 6-year-old boy, he began to say his first words after 3 months and is now discovering functional language. He and his brother are developing a very promising learning capacity and thirst for learning. Moreover, they always show enthusiasm when welcoming the members of the care team. Day anxiety and sleeping disorders have disappeared (Theralène is being progressively stopped). They are not the same children anymore. Therefore, we were rapidly convinced we had made the best possible choice.

Autism is not a psychiatric disease. It requires adequate care. However, it is very expensive for parents who have to get deeply into debt. People need to become conscious of this problem and help from the government is needed. For me, the solution is not – as some say – to give more money to psychiatric hospitals, but to financially support specialized centers and parents of children with autism. This should be done by recognition and aid from social security, allowing these children to get the best adapted treatment. The government has to recognize the effectiveness of the ABA method. Other countries understood it years ago.

Le 14 mai 2018 :

Nous sommes actuellement à la recherche de nouveaux intervenants pour subvenir aux nombreuses demandes d'interventions que nous recevons.
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Le 14 mai 2018 :

Prise en charge ABA
A compter de la rentrée de septembre 2018 quelques places se libèrent pour une prise en charge intensive, sur Strasbourg et environs.
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Le 02 avril 2015 :

Portez des vêtements bleus
A partir de 19H rejoignez-nous devant Rivétoile (côté Parc de l'Étoile) Pour parler de l autisme, avoir des infos, pour sensibiliser...

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