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Accueil Pas à Pas Autism, a parent association is mobilizing to offer adapted care, Tunis, Tunisia
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  • 44, Rue Ahmed Amine 1002 Belvédère Tunis Tunisie
  • (+216) 71 897 700
  • Farah Beji

Autism, a parent association is mobilizing to offer adapted care, Tunis, Tunisia

  • Health : Autism
  • Africa : Tunisia
  • Fiche d'expérience

Par Farah Beji le 06/11/2017

In 2008 Autism was still unknown. The association Pas à Pas 'Step by step' chose to make known the signs of autism and has organized many conferences, focusing on pediatricians.


  1. The context


The association is located in Tunis, in the district El Omrane, a neighborhood known also under the name of Franceville. We rent a space including 4 rooms and a lounge for hospitality, meetings and activity.

The creation of the association is the fact of a mother which the autistic child has benefited from recent behavioral methods abroad and who wished to make them known in Tunisia.


We support any person with a  autistic spectrum disorder , since the age of 9 months up to adult. But we also receive children with learning disabilities or with memory or concentration or attention disorders.


  1. The purpose of the experience


There was no dedicated structure or support, specialized for these children, ten years before. The association was the first to offer a service specialized in Tunis. The prevalence of autism increases as well as the conscience of the parents on this disability. In 2008 we did not yet know the signs of autism. The parents were unaware of the symptoms, as well as most of the pediatricians. 'Step by step' association chose to make known the signs of autism and has organized many conferences, focusing on pediatricians.

The scientific rigour of the proposed methods has convinced the President to bring them in Tunisia. Furthermore these methods have been proven and showed their reliability. I remember there was nothing in Tunisia.

The original objective has evolved.  Simple information on autism disorders and methods, the association has grown to the implementation of the majority of them offering adapted to their autistic children support parents.


  1. Implementation, the conduct


We started to receive the children in 2006 by offering the Tomatis method. It is that the founder was discovered first in France. The association recruited clinical psychologists who went to their training in France with 'Tomatis development' in Paris.

We made known by interviews, our web site and Word of mouth.

At the beginning our capacity has been limited by material - essentially - helmets. A session during 2 h, we could take that 5 children at the same time.



Today, we have expanded our support methods and can offer different protocols to families coming to see us.

After setting an appointment for a consultation between the psychologist, the parents and the child, we establish a diagnosis and we develop a plan of action. We can make it benefit the Tomatis, Padovan or neurofeedback methods, depending on the difficulties of the child. The supported depend on the needs of the child and his age. We stress a lot about early support.

Then, parents bring the child for its meetings, according to a specific schedule.

On average we follow children on year, at the rate of about 15 hours a week.

We do not yet use the ABA method, because we do not have suitable premises.

We refer mainly to the Canadian school, which is the best for autistic children as well as to the French University. We are associated with the University of Lille 3 and the University of New Brunswick.


We receive on appointment and tailor our support to our capacity.

Our increase our ability on a regular basis to meet the demand. The Algeria is our neighbour and we welcome them.



  1. The tools you needed?



Two clinical psychologists and a specialized educators provide care. The Tomatis method is a collective method. The teacher is with children to give them toys while listening with headphones which forms the basis of this method. Two psychologists provide the other two individual methods, Padovan and neurofeedback.


We also work with partners. Children go to a speech therapist in addition to what we bring. We refer parents to other beneficial places for their children as the swimming pool, horse riding. To avoid any organic problem we also offer them a comprehensive review to a child psychiatrist doctor.


Families receive assistance for only at 50% and speech therapy sessions. Otherwise these supported remain entirely the responsibility of the parents. Our hope to reach a day AIDS such as Quebec or Europe.


  1. How do you evaluate today?


Children, if support was early, considerably enhance their independence or their behavioural problems. They can, for most of them, better register to kindergarten or school they attend. It depends of the difficulties at the base, of course and it is very variable.

The entourage is less anxious. They plan progressively a typical life like other children.

Children are more penalized in the kindergarten. In the district, for some teachers, we have undertaken a training.


The difficulties we face are primarily financial. The material comes from France. It is expensive and fragile. The breakage is important with children.

We are in Tunis and for people living far away, it is a difficulty to come every day for three weeks, at the beginning, then three times a week. This limits our geographical scope.

We would like to propose the ABA and PECS method related. But our premises are too small and lack of trained staff.


Our methods are really effective. They give good results with young children. Emphasis is on early support. Do not give up, always be in research and open up to the world. Until then we had many factors that explain autism. Tomorrow, another will be released in May. Until a method does no harm, why not try it. The charge must touch everything.










Langue d'origine : Français
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