What are Autism Resource Centres (ARCs) ?
ARCs are made up of a multidisciplinary team of specialists with experience in autistic syndrome, performing early diagnosis, conducting research, providing assistance, support, information, training, counselling and expert assessment for the benefit of families and medico-social and healthcare professionals. They do not directly provide care, but operate in conjunction with care establishments such as the medico-social establishments involved. (circular DGAS/DGS/DHOS/3C n°2005-124 of 8 Match 2005)
What are Pervasive Developmental Disorders ? Autism ?
PDDs are a group of disorders characterised by qualitative alterations in reciprocal social interaction and communication modalities, and by a restricted, stereotypical, repetitive repertoire of interests and activities. These qualitative anomalies are a pervasive feature of the subject's method of functioning, in any situation.
PDDs encompass diverse clinical situations, leading to heterogenous disabling situations. This clinical diversity can be defined in terms of categories (pervasive developmental disorders) or measured dimensionally (autism spectrum disorders).
In 2009, the estimated prevalence of PDDs is 6 to 7 per thousand persons under the age of 20. In the case of infantile autism, it is 2 per thousand persons under the age of 20.
The task of PDDs
The mission of PDDs is to give assistance and counselling to persons and their families, assist in carrying out in-depth assessments and evaluations, provide information, conduct training, advise all of the key players involved in the diagnosis and treatment of autism and related disorders, and coordinate research, in a given region.
PDDs do not directly provide care, but operate in conjunction with care establishments such as the medico-social establishments involved.
They cater in their tasks to children, adolescents and adults with autism or PDD.
At the end of the 2005-2007 multi-year programme, each region is immediately provided with an autism resource centre.