The Foundation lends its support to any person affected in one way or another by autism, in order to help them :
- understand this disability
- support, educate and provide the best possible help to a person with autism
- support the setting up of medical care
- obtain appropriate care through existing services in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
- obtain assistance from the care insurance (« assurance dépendance »)
- obtain the allowances that are payable in Luxembourg
A person with autism does not instinctively perceive things that are obvious to a person without autism (implicit social and communication rules, for example). Nevertheless, he/she is capable of learning and progressing as any other person. The Foundation’s role is to help persons with autism develop their skills by providing appropriate resources and guide them to behave in commonly accepted ways, i.e. ways that are considered « socially acceptable », while at the same time and as a matter of priority ensuring that the individual’s identity and personal needs are respected.
The FAL also works with the families and professionals who are in contact with persons with autism, to help them gain a better understanding of their behaviour, with its differences, strengths and needs. This enables them to adapt their own way of being and communicating, thereby promoting inclusion. Society changes to accommodate others for who they are.
The types of support offered by the Fondation Autisme Luxembourg to persons with autism, their families and to professionals is varied and personalised. Support will depend on the subject matter in hand and the skills and preferences of the persons with autism, their families and associated professionals. The following types of support are available :
- One-to-one meetings and support
- Role play
- Psycho-social support
- Social skills group
- Adult encounter group
- Support to a social worker
- Individual assistance regarding hygiene, mobility, nutrition
- Information, training, supervision
- Explanations to siblings, classmates, etc.
- Home help
- Extracurricular assistance
- Meetings between parents and professionals
- Specific learning resources
Support sessions covering any everyday subject matter are organised either directly with the person with autism or in the form of advice or awareness-raising of the person’s family or associated professionals. It goes without saying that the approach is adapted to take account of the age and skills levels of the persons receiving the support.
Among the subjects frequently covered are : autism, communication and social interaction, emotions, sensory perception, leisure activities, autonomy on a daily basis, specific rights and who to contact, employment, sleep, medication, challenging or stereotypical behaviour, puberty, sexuality.
A multidisciplinary team of specialists in autism comprising psychologists, occupational therapists, psycho-motor therapists, educationalists and social workers lead each personalised activity as and when required and taking account of the needs and skills of the individual concerned. These professionals are given ongoing training.
Cooperation with the family and the person’s environment is essential to ensure consistency among the different care services. Coordination meetings can be organised with contacts in the school, social and medical environments in Luxembourg as well as with international specialists.
Our support is open to all residents in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg who have autism as recognised by the Foundation, irrespective of their age, as well as to their families and any professionals working with them. We communicate in Luxembourgish, French, German or English. Support can be provided in the person’s living environment or on the premises of the Foundation as required. A formal request should be submitted by the legal guardian in the case of a minor with autism, or by the adult with autism or his/her legal guardian.
Requests for support have been on the increase ever since the service was opened in 2004. Since that time, no fewer than 584 families have benefited. Given the number of requests from families, there is currently a waiting list for the service.
The service was created in response to the need for lifelong support, as requested by families. By offering support, advice and information throughout the life of the child with autism, we help to ensure the continual development of the educational project. The Foundation also promotes the needs of persons with autism among professionals who are not specialised in autism.