The symptoms of autism spectrum disorders persist into adulthood, and treatment must therefore be continued in certain severe cases.
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What support is available for people with ASD?

Early support can help to reduce the signs of autism and improve the person’s functioning and quality of life. Age-appropriate support is useful at all stages of life.

It often involves multidisciplinary, coordinated support that takes account of the individual’s specific needs.

These interventions are the subject of recommendations for good clinical practice by the French National Authority for Health:

  • Educational, developmental and behavioural interventions: aim to teach the child or adult socially adapted behaviour, make appropriate requests and structure time and space in order to develop social inclusion, self-motivation and learning skills and reduce behavioural problems. They can be used simultaneously as part of an integrative approach.
  • Communication support: aims to improve communication, whether through language or by learning alternative means of communication (improved and alternative communication).
  • Psychomotor and sensorimotor support: aims to work on balance, motor coordination, posture, sensory characteristics, etc. Occupational therapy support can be used to make appropriate adjustments.
  • Cognitive psychological support: aims to work on cognitive difficulties (cognitive remediation) or social difficulties (social skills training, social cognition remediation), and to better understand these difficulties in order to adapt to them (therapeutic education) on an individual or group basis.
  • Social support: enabling appropriate assistance to be put in place
  • Associative and/or peer support (associations, mutual aid groups, peer health mediators)
  • Support for family and friends (parents, siblings, possibly spouse in adulthood): this can take the form of discussion groups, awareness-raising or training sessions, therapeutic education, etc.
  • Support with training and employment: aims to help the autistic person train and find a job suited to his or her profile, and then to adapt the workstation to enable the person to remain in employment under good conditions.
  • Medical support for any associated disorders (psychiatric and/or non-psychiatric). It should be noted that no medication is specifically designed to reduce the signs of autism. However, the presence of one or more associated disorders may necessitate the introduction of medication. In the case of behavioural problems, medication should not be prescribed as a first-line treatment (a functional analysis of the behaviour and a search for a somatic cause being the priority), but may in some cases reduce problem behaviours. In such cases, the prescription should be re-evaluated regularly.