'France is 50 years behind': the 'state scandal' of French autism treatment

Like thousands of French children whose parents believe they haveautism, Rachel’s six-year-old son had been placed by the state in a psychiatric hospital day unit. The team there, of the school of post-Freudian psychoanalysis, did not give a clear-cut diagnosis.

Rachel, who lived in a small village outside the alpine city of Grenoble, said she would go elsewhere to assess all three of her children. But the hospital called social services, who threatened to take the children away from her.

A consultant psychiatrist said Rachel was fabricating her children’s symptoms for attention, that they were not autistic, and that she wanted them to have autism spectrum disorder in order to make herself look more interesting.

Rachel’s children were taken and placed in care homes.

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8th February 2018