Education of autistic children: “We see a real malaise in Isère” denounces the association Envol Isère Autisme

In France, 80% of autistic people do not have access to ordinary schooling. And the situation is far from improving, especially in Isère. The association “Envol Isère Autism”
denounces the lack of help from the National Education. At the rectorate, “there is a person on the line, but who does not meet the needs”, estimates Feriel Bonnet Machot.

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France Bleu Isère: First of all, what is the situation today in Isère? Not very good…

Feriel Bonnet Machot: Yes, we will say that it is not very good, in the sense that there is a real lack of AESH, the people who help autistic children in class, who help them with their accommodations, that’s the human help that every child with autism needs. The situation is complicated: since September 2022, we have had the telephone number of the “inclusive school” at the rectorate of Grenoble – 0 805 805 110 – which does not meet the needs of parents.

That is to say ? Doesn’t he answer you at all?

In fact there is a person on the phone, but who does not meet the needs. Because when you need to know if an AESH is available, if she will come to class, or to report that the accommodations are not in place, well, we no longer meet the needs of parents. In any case, it is the feelings of the parents who tell us about this through the association. We are volunteer parents in the association. We do monthly hotlines in six localities in Isère and we see the distress of the parents. There are children dropping out of school, because there are no necessary adaptations or little adaptation. So we see a real malaise in Isère.

Among the parents, the families that you follow, how many ask for assistance and do not have it?

In fact, we do not quantify them, because we are not an instance, we are simply an association. But we have a lot, we provide 900 volunteer hours and we help 600 families in total. And we can see that more and more, in recent years, we have a lot of families in distress. We are only an association, we cannot manage all the distress. It is the role of the main authorities of the State to do what is necessary.

We’re talking about school here. But there is also extracurricular. We were talking in the 7:30 a.m. newspaper about a reception structure that will open in two weeks in Grenoble, with the association “Autisme à Fleur de peau”. There too, outside of school hours, are there any reception structures?

It is very good that structures like these exist. Since 2020, Isère had launched training for Atsem, with the city of Grenoble, after volunteers from the association challenged the authorities on the lack of training and knowledge of Atsem and agents.

Because today people are not trained in the care of autism?

Very poorly trained. The people who deal with autistic people, be they teachers or extracurricular agents, are not familiar with this invisible handicap. It is important that the people who take care of these children or these adults are trained. So we have a lack of knowledge, even among the AESH, many resign, do not go to the end of their mission because in fact they do not know this invisible handicap.

And what can we wish you for 2023? Means, above all?

Better inclusion, but true inclusion. You don’t necessarily need a lot of resources. For example, we make tutorials for adjusting exams, we have matrices that can be crutches for autistic people in exams and that is not in place. There are tools that have been created for free and we do not understand why they are not put in place.

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Education of autistic children: “We see a real malaise in Isère” denounces the association Envol Isère Autisme