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education choices for an 11yr old asberger suffer in france


kimbo

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Hi I am wondering if anyone out there has any help or information for me please.We are looking to move to the Bergerac region next summer and have an 11yr old boy who suffers from asbergers syndrome are there any facilities in the french school system or would we have to consider a) private education b) staying here c) schooling him in england. I would be grateful for any help or comments as we are at a bit of a loss at the moment thank you

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Hi

I have a daughter who, whilst not suffering from Asberger's Syndrome, has psychological and behavioural problems that are very similar.

She is now nearly 9 and has been under the care of a psychologist in a unit in Limoges hospital for the last 6 years.  She started with one day a week and now goes in for one workshop.  She is in a normal primary school and has an educational assistant who works with her in the class.  We have case conferences every term with her psychologist, the teaching staff, the educational psychologist, the education officer and the school doctor to assess her progress and determine a way forward.

Whilst France does not have a great reputation for caring for autistic children, my own experience of the educational and health systems in regards to my daughter have been fantastic.  The approach of the professionals is very flexible which allows each family to have a greater imput into the treatment and  a better individual approach to the support given.

A new regional unit specifically for autistic children has just opened this year in Limoges, with referrals from a wide catchment area, and more specialists than in any other unit in France.

I am currently working on a comparative research paper in conjunction with a fellow researcher who works for an American university in London on the  services available in France and the UK for autistic and traumatised children and so far France is coming up roses.  Whilst the UK has the most funding and the reputation for the best practice, there appears to be a high failure rate for service provision within the specialist units and the wider public services.

I am obviously keen to hear about your experiences in the UK, and anyone else who has children in difficulty in France and I would be more than willing to discuss this issue with you personally.

My final word would have to be - don't put off the move for fear of not being able to meet your son's needs.  The help is there!

 

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Sorry that I can't help you with any information, but I just can't help doing a bit of motherly bragging.

My daughter was diagnosed with ASD and received the highest level of care in the Australian school system.  She is now 13yo and has recently undergone another full analysis and has been given the aok, as no longer having ASD.  I didn't know that kids could grow out of it!  I thought this would be with her for her entire life, and was especially worried about how she would cope with her teenage years, but the future now looks bright.

While my daughter still attends school in Australia, she did spend a day at a French school here to see if she would like it.  Her conclusion was that the enironment was much more tightly controlled than in Australia, which is a good thing for an ASD child.  Although we ultimately decided to let her finish her school in Oz, I would personally not hesitate in putting her into a French school.

Can you not come to France for a few days and let your son see what he thinks of the school environment?  I look forward to reading the experiences of other parents who have children with special scholarly requirements.

Lynda

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[quote user="wen"]

Hello...? Your daughter is only 13 and in school in Australia while you are both here in France?.

Why?.

[/quote]

There could be many reasons both personal or professional. On the latter I can think of those in military service who often leave their kids in boarding school in their country of origin because they think they are at an age where their education within their countries system is at a critical point. So it's really not our business why the poster is in France and their child or children are living and being educated in another country. I am sure they have a very good reason.

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Thats fine Quillan. I just couldn't think of a reason why I would emigrate to the other side of the world and leave my 13 year old child behind  for whatever reason. Boarding schools are thin on the ground in Australia by the way. Nice to see they are so happy here though...finding 'little village paths' here and there.

She's only 13?....

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are options for classroom support assistants (AVS) in France and  multi-disiciplinary  team input on a regularly basis to draw up/modify statement of special educational needs. etc.  Generally, medically and socially there should be no problems in meeting the needs of your son using the statutory,voluntary and parent led services.  You may have to do the initial legwork to ensure that you are able to obtain the best outcomes, meet up with other parents, check out if the services offered are acceptable to you, what alternatives there are. 

Apart from a visit to the local school(s), I would advise you to contact the 'maison departmentale des personnes handicapees' in the area you are considering, all disability related issues in France now pass through them (a kind of one stop shop). 

I assume that your son is  relatively high functioning intectually but would caution you that there will be difficulties in moving up to the next year if he has not met the 'academic' standard of the current year, (each and every year) there appears to be much less flexibility than might be found within the UK  educational system.

I have been in recent contact with a family who moved to France with a boy of the same age and condition some years ago, if you would like to see if they would be prepared to talk to you about their experiences, pm me and I will ask them to contact you. 

Best wishes

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi,

our son was diagnosed over here at Brest which is a very good centre for Autism.  It is the Hopital de Bohars, a Dr Lemonnier.  James was 15 when he was finally diagnosed and it was due to the intervention of his college, particularly his very good headmistress.  Fortunately, having been diagnosed, it gave him the knowledge to rise above a handicap he had never understood before.  He did four years in french school where he got into Lycée, but after Seconde decided to return to the UK for schooling.  He is now in 6th form doing french, maths, physics and art A levels and enjoying every moment.  He decided to change because he was being forced into continuing with subjects he did not want to do, and that he found hard due to his AS.  He is extremely bright (over 145 IQ) and is going to do a physics degree (wants to do a MSc and a PhD as well) and is so focussed (AS again) that I am sure he will.  He is extremely gifted artistically (wanted to be an animator in films and has done loads already by himself, apparently to degree standard already according to a friend's son who is in a degree course himself) but this isn't challenging enough (I quote him) so he wants to use his brain and do particle physics.

He liked french school up until the Bacc, found the regimentation etc very comforting for an AS sufferer, but could not hack having to do all subjects.  Hated the subjects they forced him to perform in (in music every child HAD to sing and actually got marked out of 20 for it).  Now I would have hated that myself and I am not AS, so imagine how he felt about it!  5 for words correct, 5 for rhythm, 5 for the tune and 5 for the loudness.  I suggested he recited the words loudly to get 10 out of 20, but he just totally refused.  He also NEVER spoke french once in 4 years to a teacher.  He communicated entirely by writing.  I think he spoke to his friends in french, but not adults at school.  He does well, incidentally, in french A level!  Apparently speaking french to english people is different.  WHo knows?

He is well adjusted, loving school in england, and looking forward to university now.  Good luck with your son.  My advice is live near a good centre, like Brest or Limoges.  There are not too many, so do your research before moving.  He may need it.

Fil

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