Autism: a free national listening and information platform

Autisme Info Service

The nationwide www.autismeinfoservice.fr web platform launched on April 2 2019 by the Autisme Info Service association aims to provide improved listening, guidance and support services to people with autism. The purpose of the project is to answer all questions about the condition which people ask by phone or email, using the website and the national directory of autism resources. The scheme’s social helpline gives reassurance, encouragement and hope to autistic users and caregivers.

In time, Autisme Info Service intends to set up an observatory to monitor the expectations and practices of the public concerned, with an annual indicator and a portal to identify and share innovative local initiatives and coordinate all those involved more effectively.

The scheme provides a freephone number and a digital platform with a specialized website on autism spectrum disorder, a directory of resources and an individualized email query service. The platform is compliant with the best practices recommendations of the French National Health Authority. It gives easy access to up-to-date high-quality information on a wide variety of subjects such as pathology (incidence, symptoms, definition), screening, care management, financial assistance, administrative procedures and integration into the educational and professional environments.

Over 2,860 people directly benefited over a nine-month period in 2019, of whom 71% were parents or close relatives, and nearly 26,000 queries were answered.

During the spring 2020 health crisis, very heavy demands were placed on the support and information service by families feeling at a loss because of the lockdown. In a speech on April 2nd, President Macron expressed his solidarity with autism sufferers. This and the subsequent statement to the press easing lockdown restrictions for vulnerable sections of the population gave Autisme Info Service unprecedented visibility while highlighting the need for its support platform.

The platform proves its usefulness every day and the Michelin Corporate Foundation is proud to support this ambitious project serving a national cause.

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