School education for children from 15, a course for families

Samson lives in Marseille at the foot of the Bonne Mère, Kevin, a fan of Olympique de Marseille, lives in Grenoble. Their common point: they are autistic and will soon be graduating from college. It was difficult for the two teenagers to find a company for dual training.

In France there are 700,000 people with an autism spectrum disorder and 8,000 autistic children are born every year.

The term autism hides very different realities. That is a neurodevelopmental disorder whose exact cause is unknown.

On this April 2nd, World Autism Day, we take you to discover two teenagers through their father’s eyes.

In 2017, Kevin was treated to an extraordinary birthday: 22,000 letters from all over France, gift packages, a jersey signed by the OM team and even a seat to see his favorite team at the Vélodrome stadium. .

The reason for this national generosity for this young man from Grenoble: an appeal from Laurent Bordet, his father. No classmate had wanted to come to sat birthday party. The story had gotten as far as Marseille.

Five years later, it is no longer his son’s birthday but his son’s future that worries Laurent Bordet. “We can’t find him a boss, However, he has done a lot of internships and likes to work.”

The teenager is currently in the 3rd grade of a ULIS class (ULocalized Units for School Inclusion). Mathematics and French lessons are adapted, while physical education or music lessons are carried out with other classes.

He is now aiming for an apprenticeship as a grocer, shelf specialist or an apprenticeship with a greengrocer.

So if he can’t find training or a boss, “He will stay at home”. Unthinkable for the father who fears that his son will fall behind due to lack of socialization.

When we discovered his autism, the doctors told us to “mourn for our child” and not send him to school. Through his persistence he speaks today and tells us about his time.

Laurent Berdet, father of Kevin

Samson faces the same question in Marseille: what will become of him when he turns 16? He speaks little, but plays an instrument: the drums.

“Today his class was a magical moment, confides in his father Georges-Edouard Legré. The class lasted an hour, usually no more than 30 minutes.”

With great pride he tells of the discovery of his son’s talent by a music teacher. “Samson could instinctively read a drum score, it’s like a ‘superpower’, while he struggles with other insights.

The teenager is now in the third Segpa (section of Appropriate Education and Vocational Education) but his parents have not yet found a high school or CAP (Certificate of Vocational Aptitude) to take him.

A second problem arises, Samson needs a companion who divides the tasks for him. “He just did a two-week internship in a company, it was me who accompanied him because we couldn’t find anyone with training.”tell Georges Edouard Legre.

The issue of financing this support is also complicated. “The service work vouchers issued by the region can only be paid for by an accompanying person who comes to the house. He can’t go to work with Samson.”

Compulsory schooling is only up to the age of 16, the parents are in the dark about the continuation “The risk is that young people end up in psychiatric hospitals”explains Georges-Edouard Legré, chairman of the Marseille association Autism Stars.

His son was in a psychiatric hospital between the ages of 3 and 5 and he has no intention of repeating that experience. “In the midst of other autistic people, he will not be able to develop by imitating his surroundings.”

However, this solution is more economical for the family, explains the father, who gave up his regular job to become self-employed and be able to devote more time to his son.

In the child psychiatric ward, the security service spent between 600 and 800 euros on Samson every day. Now that he is with us, we are entitled to 1,600 euros per month. If we had half the funding for the hospital, imagine what we could do.

Georges-Edouard Legré, father of Samson

“School education after age 15 is minimal and only for high-functioning profiles in autism,” Abound Lisa Ferrari, President of Autism 13, for whom school integration is not enough.

Hope could come from a decision by the Narbonne court. A medical-social institution had to find a solution to educate a young person after his 16th birthday who could go to school.

Beyond this question of school enrollment after 16 years, the reasons for the anger are manifold: too late screening for autism, lack of specialized staff, lack of space in suitable facilities, insufficient training of AESH…

The lack of a future for autistic people means their life expectancy is short. Finding yourself at home, with exhausted and destitute caring parents, in a psychiatric hospital, or at a place of death is not a solution.

Lisa Ferrari, President of Autism 13

For Lisa Ferrari, however, there are solutions: create shared rooms, train staff within the family and above all “Procure sufficient funds”.

With the presidential campaign in full swing, a week before the first round, associations and parents say they are not convinced by the candidates’ proposals.

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