The Centre pour enfants et jeunes présentant un trouble du spectre de l’autisme (CTSA) (Centre for children and young people with autism spectrum disorder) includes the former missions of the Institut pour enfants autistiques et psychotiques (IEAP) (Institute for Autistic and Psychotic Children) together with new missions as a Competence centre.
The CTSA supports children and young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This new terminology "Autism spectrum disorder" includes conditions that were known as autism, Asperger syndrome, unspecified pervasive developmental disorder (EDD) and disintegrative childhood disorder.
ASD is a neuro-developmental condition with characteristics that can change during a person's development, both in nature and intensity, and even in adulthood. Difficulties associated with it impact many areas of the person's functioning.
Characteristics of autism can be classified into three categories that affect the ability to communicate, to relate to others as well as restricted and stereotyped behaviour and interests.
Autism spectrum disorder may appear more clearly at the time children start school and social relations become more complex.
The CTSA provides comprehensive support for children or young people with ASD: it is based on an educational, behavioural and developmental approach, taking into account the skills and specific problems of the individual, aimed at developing an individualised education, rehabilitation and school programme.
Elements of different educational and psycho-pedagogical approaches are applied with priorities set on :
- a secure environment (clear, stable, and visible) ;
- anticipating surprises and changes ;
- minimizing transitions ;
- respecting individual rhythms ;
- use of structured and adapted material ;
- implementation of visual aids ;
- daily routine (daily schedule) ;
- individual care, adapted to the specific needs.
The Centre includes 4 units.
The teaching unit organises co-educational schooling (regular class and CTSA class) and full-time as well as specialised external intervention in elementary schools and secondary schools.
There are several cohabitation classes, i.e., classes installed in a building of ordinary education, promoting interactions with other students.
The specialised multidisciplinary team of the diagnosis, consulting and guidance unit has the following tasks :
- follow-up of students and families ;
- organisation of round tables with parents ;
- performing specialised diagnosis ;
- advice and guidance ;
- information, professional training and peer-to-peer networking ;
- awareness raising ;
- collaboration with the Commission nationale d’inclusion (National inclusion commission) and inclusion commissions ;
- contact and cooperation with other units.
The rehabilitation unit offers :
- interventions and rehabilitation in the CTSA classes and in the classes of elementary school and secondary school ;
- participation in diagnosis, check-up, counselling.
The fourth unit handles administrative and technical questions.
The teaching unit consists of :
- teachers ;
- curative pedagogues ("Heilpädagogue") ;
- teachers specialising in the schooling of students with specific education needs ;
- graduate educators ;
- educators-instructors (printing, etc.) ;
The diagnosis, consulting and monitoring unit includes :
- psychologists ;
- pedagogues ;
- social workers ;
- teachers ;
- graduate educators ;
- educators ;
- rehabilitators ;
- a physician specialising in child and young people psychiatry as an external consultant ;
The rehabilitation unit includes speech therapists, psychomotor therapists and other therapists.