In Sévérac-le-Château, La Roquette IME, an innovative tool to facilitate the inclusion of autistic children

The establishment, the only one in Aveyron authorized to welcome autistic children, has been completely redesigned.

In a few days it will be the culmination of a project that has been hoped for for more than 20 years Pep 12, the departmental association of students of public education in Aveyron, which manages various reception structures on the territory, including the medical-pedagogical institute of La Roquette , in Severac-d’Aveyron. On the occasion of World Autism Day this Saturday, the facility, which is the only one in the department specializing in the care of children and young adults (up to 20 years old), is preparing to move to its new premises.

Since March 2020, a construction site for a new room has been started, which is completely designed to optimally support the children in the care. It has just been completed and the move will take place next week. Then the complete renovation of the old outbuilding will begin.

Designed with specialists from Toulouse

The ARS has invested 5.5 million euros to offer the structure, which includes 40 boarding places and 18 day care places, an ideal place to support these children, but also “to prepare them for the post-IME, which will either be outside or in other structures,” explains Marie Lascoumes, director of the facility.

The place is quite innovative thought. “The aim was to leave traditional accommodation in favor of an adapted environment,” explains Michel Franc, President of Pep 12. We worked with specialists in Toulouse to ensure that the new building is entirely dedicated to children’s well-being.

Since there are as many autistic people as there are patients, the task was not easy. But the architect of the project had to take into account many parameters. “Autism often results in a sensory anomaly in the first place,” continues the director of the facility. The child can be disturbed by a light, a sound of air conditioning … What is also often common c is that a place must correspond to a single function.”

A revised environment

So everything was designed according to this concept, with work areas, treatment rooms, places for workshops and games, spaces with the possibility of specific design… “There are certain things that may seem like decoration to you, but are essential for young people with autism, Marie Lascoumes continues. For example, there is a green frieze on the walls of the corridors. It is essential for a child who needs landmarks.”

The furnishings of this new building have all been designed with this in mind, making it a first in Occitania. And the equipment is optimized for both the children being cared for and all the professionals around them. This ranges from the pedagogical team to the supervisors through the teachers. So it’s a whole environment that has been reviewed with a view to “creating an orientation for these children”, who all have very different profiles, and who now have a suitable tool to support them on their path to inclusion.

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