Exclusive Education: How Autism Is Treated In France

While the #CDCwhistleblower scandal and the #hearthiswell campaign have rightfully been the main focus of the past few days, I wanted to pause for a moment and share what is happening in France:

Children with autism are being denied the right to go to school.


The following video tells the story, but before you view it, here’s a little background on what you are seeing:

Tim is 15 and has autism. The video takes place at the junior high school he attended last year where he received good reports from his teachers.

The authorities in charge of the education of children with special needs have decided, against his mother’s will, that Tim no longer belongs in a regular school, but rather in what they call a “day center,” which is really just a babysitting service for parents who have to go to work. The children aren’t given any type of education or stimulation. Tim’s mother has taken legal action contesting this decision. In the meantime, she contacted the day center who advised her they had no more spots available for her son.

On Wednesday, December 3, she decided to take him to junior high school, just like any other child, except she didn’t recieve the same welcome as all the other children. She decided to film the entire scene.
Please watch. It is heartbreaking to know that in a country as modern, open-minded and advanced as France, children are denied basic rights because they have autism! They are being denied the right to learn and to a better life and future.

Tim’s mother is getting pressure from the Regional Inspector for Schools and the local police station to remove the video from the internet (which she has the right to share). The Regional Inspector for Schools is directly linked to the local police station and the media, which has refused to feature the video.

One media outlet finally did an interview, but it was never used due to pressure from the Regional Inspector for Schools.

Meanwhile the video has been seen 107,000 times by parents and people who are outraged by this situation.



In France, only 20% of children with autism attend school, and only part-time. Others are in day centers. Please share and make this video go viral in support of this mother’s fight for her son and thousands other children in France to have the right to an education.


If you are having trouble viewing this video click here, or cut and paste this url into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbwzYGCQAyo

For more on how autism is treated in France, please read “The forgotten children” (also written in French, “Les enfants oubliés”).

~ Prima

“Frenchie” by last name, Prima was born and raised across the seas. She believes that a life without a cause is a life without effect. Prima is the proud mom of two miracle children. Her dream, and her cause, is to heal her beautiful son who is medically fragile — with a resume of autoimmune and neurological conditions. But despite the seriousness of this statement, she still tries to have fun doing it. Dreams are not negotiable in her house. One can only live once, but if one does it right, once is enough!

For more blogs by Prima please click here.

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30 Responses to Exclusive Education: How Autism Is Treated In France

  1. Frances Mckay says:

    Does anybody know how I could get involved with teaching children with autism and Down syndrome communication classes. I am a grade 1 teacher from England and would like to live in France permenent. I already have a house in the reigon. I have a pgce and have worked as a teacher for five years in an outstanding college in London. The only problem is I speak very little French . Any help to get in touch with people that can help me gain work would be appreciated.
    Frances Mckay

  2. Dave Chew says:

    I have loved anything French since I was a child and this grieved me on the highest level ever.

    with that said, I am in the process of having my story translated into French so that French parents of Children with Autism can be encouraged.

    I have provided my website and in it you can find my testimony as well as an article that gives a comprehensive look at Autism in France and what I plan on doing about it.

    Thank you for sharing this post, I will make it an effort to bring awareness about this situation in support of Tim, Omar, Manon, and many others needing hope.

    I personally struggle with Asperger’s syndrome (High Functioning Autism) yet I persevere because of my Faith in Jesus.

    Below here is the article in support of Tim and his family and what I plan on doing.


  3. Iryna says:

    I am the mother of 8 years old autistic boy. We live in UK. The video showing the headmaster of the French school blocking the entrance to the school for autistic boy is a disgrace. The headmaster should be ashamed of himself

  4. Mihiri says:

    This is shocking, how do they get away with this?!!!

  5. Mel says:

    I’m a specialist occupational therapist in autism and assessing sensory processing problems. I also speak French. [email protected] if you are looking for private help and support

    • Hugo Salinas says:

      Dear Mel:

      I read your comment in the following post regarding France’s lack of sensibility with autistic children.


      My sister lives in Paris and she just shared with me that her 11 year old son is autistic. The video in this post is really heart breaking and I am reading anything I can find any organizations in Paris that can help in any way. I spoke with her and it does seems like France is behind the learning curve on this matter. My sister speaks perfect English. I live in the US.

      I would greatly appreciate it if you could lead us to any information, organizations, other in Paris/France that may help my sister.

      Kindly yours,

      Hugo Salinas
      US Citizen

      • Roberto Martinez says:

        Hi Hugo,

        We are moving to Paris in a similar situation. Is there any way we can get in touch with your sister? Did she manage to get her kid in a good place? We have a 14 year old and a bit scared reading stuff like this.

        My email is [email protected] in case someone can offer any help or guidance.

  6. worthless loser says:

    I am mentally beating myself up now from singing a song by a French DJ. I believe that he hates autistic people and only expects normal people to listen to his songs. I believe the reason they treat autistics like this is because the majority of normal people voted for it. I think most French people hate autistics and want to see them gone from their country forever. I think the DJ wants his songs banned from autistic ears and he’d call the security guards if he spots someone who shows signs of autism. Same for other French DJs and musicians. I think if I try to holiday or live there, I’d be held down by police and sent to a lunatic asylum for life and most people would agree with it. Knowing countries like France, Greece, Czech Republic and Romania EXIST is giving me suicidal thoughts. I’d rather live in INDIA!!! Even though they don’t know much about autism, at least they don’t lock autistics up in asylums like 90% of Europe do!!!! I will refuse to listen to any French music until this is sorted out and definitely NOT going to France either!!!

  7. indu says:

    Am also having a autism child.still no treatment is started for her.and no school for her.am really upset and feel a lot for you sister

  8. arriana says:


    I am happy to help ! I have fully recovered my daughter, and I am helping a family that has begun biomedical and seeing positive changes. I live in France now, but have lived all over.

  9. Carla says:

    I couldn’t access video as YouTube says it has violates its terms of service. What about violating children’s rights!!!!!

  10. Natalie says:

    “The forgotten children” (also written in French, “Les enfants oubliés”) Who is the author of this book? I cannot find it. I would like to know more. My husband is French ( hasn’t live there in many years) and we love the country but we are heartbroken when we see things like this. Last year while visiting, I asked our French cousins who teach in middle school and university how autistic or developmentally challenged kids are taught. The said there are not many autistic kids and those that there are not in the schools. It was very sad to hear because we all know that there are many children that are being shut away instead of taught in a appropriate environment.

    • Amy says:

      Natalie, do you remember what exactly “The Forgotten Children” was about? If I have a general idea, I may be able to try and find some information on it.


  11. arianna says:

    I recently moved to Paris. France is really really behind as everyone is pointing out. Parents, are told that there is no hope. Many children are literally put away in pyschiatric wards for the rest of their lives, even stripped away from legal rights. There is realatively no information on diets and recovery strategies, and the only type of therapies that are available are behavioural. Parents are ashamed to talk about their autistic children.. France needs more information like this, more recovery stories, more hope.

    • Prima says:

      Arianna, I am so sorry …..
      If you know more parents locally who would like to learn more about what can be done to help their children, let us know. we could set up a support group. I speak French and could with explaining the literature or information that isn’t available in French.

    • stephen says:

      We live near Paris with our autistic son and have great difficulty even getting private care for him. I would really like to get in touch

  12. Nora says:

    How can we help this is horrible?

    • Maryna says:

      I’m a mother of this child. Thank you a lot for read, comment and share this: that’s a best help for us. Indeed, France has very regressive and repressive system (not like as all you can hear about a “country of rights”). Not only my child is discriminated, but I’m blamed for fight. I have the only solution actually: move in another country, break all we had before.

    • Prima says:

      you can comment on the youtube page where video is featured. Even in English. the mother wants as many comments and as much support as possible in this story. Thank you!!!!!

  13. cia parker says:

    My daughter’s middle school so far has not given her any educational materials that she could understand and learn from. It is shameful. They have no testing materials to determine her level of language mastery. They gave her flash cards to see if she could identify cold, red, etc., if she could link phrases using words given, and since she did fine, they say that proves she has typical use of English, when in reality she understands nothing of what the teacher says, and can write nothing in a complex sentence with appropriate grammatical structures and vocabulary. And this also is shameful. And happening in the U.S.

  14. Lucie says:

    I am a french student and definitely, I can tell you that here, we are not ahead of the world at all…I hate my country so much that I will maybe fly away soon. Despite gay marriage and some things like that (even then, it is still a very polemical topic), France lives in the XIXth century. The way they treat handicapped people, the way this stupid school system works, the fact that French people always refuse changing, the fact that we still think we are the country of the human rights whereas it was 200 years ago…In fact, today, France hates difference in all shapes. It is totally right that we incite women pregnant of a handicapped baby to abort. If one of these women wants to keep her baby, she is seen as a selfish woman, or as a fundamentalist. We must put the shame on France by telling the story of Tim all over the world. However, I doubt shame is enough to make a change here. French politicians are totally numb and without honor. It will take decades, if not more. I don’t exaggerate, this is how it works here.
    Avec tout mon soutien pour Tim.

    PS : sorry for my poor english, I had to use a dictionary several times. French school is not able to teach it correctly.

    • Maryna says:

      Totalement d’accord avec vous, y compris sur la solution qui nous reste: partir.
      Absolutely agree with you, also about only solution we have: to escape from here.

    • Prima says:

      It is so sad to hear this. Thank you for your support to Tim. If you are able., please comment on the youtube page where the video is featured. Tim’s mom reads them and sais they are helping!

  15. Laurex says:

    Pour comprendre cette affaire il faut connaitre :

    La fabrique du retard scolaire des enfants autistes.

    L’académie prétexte d’un retard scolaire que le système scolaire a lui-même fabriqué.

    L’organisation du décrochage scolaire des enfants autistes commence à la maternelle puis au CP par la création d’un absentéisme systémique avec un temps limité d’AVS car les enfants autistes ne sont pas admis à l’école sans AVS, les enseignants non formés aux rudiments ne pouvant les accueillir.

    Avec au maximum un tiers de temps de scolarité à la fin du primaire, même un enfant ordinaire ne peut avoir le même niveau d’acquisition que ses pairs à l’entrée au collège.

    Une vidéo explique tout cela : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMKOidPkO20

    Il est ensuite facile de prendre prétexte d’un niveau de connaissance inférieur aux autres enfants pour orienter vers le milieu ségrégué.

    Même les ULIS ne pratiquent pas l’inclusion mais plutôt la discrimination et la ghéttoïzation s’il faut en croire le rapport Rebeyrol.

    La France a d’ailleurs été condamnée par le Conseil de l’Europe pour la ghéttoïzation en ULIS des enfants autistes mais rien n’a changé si ce n’est un renforcement des pratiques dites de “torpillage de l’inclusion”.

    L’éducation nationale est devenue une machine à alimenter le business du médico-social qui échappe à tout contrôle financier et pas seulement pour les enfants avec handicap.

    La fabrique des difficultés comportementales

    Dans le processus global de ségrégation, la fabrique des difficultés comportementales entre en marche très tôt, et aussi, pour les enfants de parents socialement très défavorisés.

    Les enfants socialement vulnérables sans handicap (ou mineur) sont orientés vers des établissements “spécialisés” qui ont le plus grand mal à gérer les difficultés comportementales générées par le sentiment d’injustice et de ségrégation.

    La machine de discrimination précoce fonctionne non seulement pour ghettoïzer en ULIS des enfants autistes mais aussi pour des enfants sans handicap issus de minorités ethniques. Pour les autistes, on a aussi inventé en France un système très compliqué pour retarder la prise en charge et maximiser les difficultés à tel point qu’on est arrivé à faire croire qu’un médecin ne peut diagnostiquer l’autisme.

    Les opérateurs historiques du marché du handicap qui bénéficient de la rente du système de ségrégation ont peur de perdre la rente avec la montée de l’inclusion scolaire des enfants autistes et surtout avec la démonstration qu’un enfant autiste peut acquérir l’autonomie et des compétences sociales beaucoup plus facilement en milieu ordinaire que dans n’importe lieu d’éducation ségrégué.

    C’est cette peur de perdre la rente qui génère cette affaire et plus généralement la montée des refus de scolarisation déguisés que sont les privations partielles ou entières d’AVS dont il est fait constat dans de nombreuses académies.

    Il faut connaître le lourd héritage de la France en matière d’exploitation des enfants vulnérables pour comprendre qu’il n’y a que les modalités d’exploitation qui ont évoluées en se travestissant.

    Si la France ne se décide pas à pratiquer une politique de lutte efficace contre l’économie de l’exclusion, il faut s’attendre à une montée de telles vidéos sur youtube car face à l’inertie des politiques c’est le seul recours pour les parents et qui en l’espèce ont le droit pour eux.

    • Maryna says:

      Je me suis permise de publier votre post sur ma page FB. C’est très bien dit!

    • Prima says:

      Merci Pour cette explication Laurex. Tout mouvement qui se veut révolutionnaire est souvent enclenché par des parents concernés, exténués, révoltés par la situation qu’ils vivent….
      C’est un peu notre histoire ici , aux Thinking Moms. Nous avons décidé de donner une voix à nos enfants et bien que la route est encore bien longue , nous commençons enfin à récolter les fruits d’un travail collectif.
      Nous sommes une communauté et nous nous devons de nous soutenir.
      Nous avons déjà 2 livres qui racontent l’histoire de nos enfants et comptons continuer notre mouvement en regroupant des parents à travers le monde pour continuer de nous faire entendre.

      Aux Etats Unis, 1 garçon sur 36 est diagnostiqué d’un TSA . Nos enfants sont aujourd’hui des enfants mais bientôt ils deviendront des adultes et là, que se passera -t-il?

  16. Uzma says:

    I have an autistic son and I feel for this mother and her son.
    What I would disagree with is calling France “modern, open-minded and advanced”. The way France treats Muslim women already shows how advanced it is.

  17. Julie says:

    France is open, but not to the disabled. I was informed by someone who lived there how little there is for kids with Down Syndrome. I have also read a comment from a site I encountered by a mom with a child with DS. She said that in the south of France, there were only a few (less than five, I believe) children with DS of her son’s age. They expect you to abort in France. So needless to say, if there are only a small handful of children in the entire south of France with Down Syndrome, there is no urgency to provide support. I suspect this is the mentality for Autism too. It is just sickening!
    You would think France would be ahead of the world, but apparently not.

    • Becky says:

      Julie, autism isn’t apparent during pregnancy, signs are usually picked up on when the child is around 2 years of age, so there wouldn’t be a reason to abort the pregnancy as everything looks fine. Downs Syndrome can be picked up during scans while the mother is pregnant, and in some countries, termination is recommended.
      As the mother of 2 children with autism, living in a different European country, one in which inclusion is encouraged, I cannot imagine the heartbreak for children and family to be shunned and excluded like this. For all the advancement we hear about in France, this really shows that they are so far behind with human rights. And it’s saddening that children will not reach their potential and be all that they can be

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