While neurodevelopmental disorders could affect up to one in six people, there is an urgent need to act. Emmanuel Macron lifted the veil this Tuesday in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis) on the new national strategy for neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD).
Extended to neurodevelopmental disorders, this 2023-2027 strategy takes into account autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but also intellectual development disorders (DDI), attention deficit with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) as well as multiple dys disorders (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dysphasia, dyspraxia).
Some 680 million euros will be budgeted in this 2023-2027 strategy. For the previous 2018-2022 plan which focused on autism, 345 million euros had been budgeted and 543 million euros were actually committed.
Early and systematic identification
“The objective is to have the most human and individualized approach possible to support families and individuals and bring everyone out of their loneliness,” said the Head of State.
The new strategy insists on the early and “systematic” identification of “developmental gaps” in all children from birth to six years, during compulsory medical visits to general practitioners or pediatricians and at nursery school.
A checklist will be included in the health record.
“This first identification will allow children to be directed as soon as possible to the coordination and orientation platforms (PCO) in case of doubt,” said Fadila KhattabiMinister responsible for Disabled People at Figaro. In the hundred of these PCOs created since 2019, 55,000 children have been identified and supported until diagnosis.
We must “increase inclusiveness, train teachers”
To welcome them to ordinary schools, the president announced the creation of 380 systems for these children with specific needs, an “almost doubling” compared to the 410 created between 2018 and 2023. 45,000 autistic children are educated at ordinary school.
We must “increase inclusiveness, train teachers, fight against harassment,” promised Emmanuel Macron.
Effort will be made on training, from nursery staff to teachers and caregivers. Health or medico-social professionals will be able to go to schools to “avoid parents having to run to appointments”, according to the Élysée.
Additional credits to finance research
Since the previous strategy, the government has developed research to improve knowledge of autism and care.
Five centers of excellence (Paris, Lyon, Montpellier, Tours, Strasbourg) have been created and 700 researchers in France work with 400 teams around the world.
The president announced a “sixth center of excellence” and, according to the Élysée, “additional credits” will make it possible to finance “new research”.
This strategy, developed in consultation with associations, was the subject of a citizen consultation in the spring which gave rise to numerous feedback (10,000 contributions and 96,000 votes), reports the Élysée.