October 25, 2016

Jacqueline Tiarti with daughter Melissa
Jacqueline Tiarti with daughter Melissa
Jacqueline Tiarti with daughter Melissa

We have been following closely the hunger strike started on July 9 by French mother Jacqueline Tiarti as a crusade against the French government’s preference for medical treatment for children and individuals with Autism.

On July 23, after 15 days of starvation, Ms Tiarti, from the Calmart region of France was forced to give up her plight after suffering lightheadedness and passing out. She was taken to hospital and urged to slowly start reintroducing nutrition into her diet.

Ms Tiarti was campaigning against France’s lack of SSESAD-Service of Special Education and Home Care places for children like her seven year old daughter Melissa. Currently the service has only 2,500 places through the Country, unless parents can afford to pay €2500 (around $3320 USD) per month.

Ms Tiari is recovering slowly, and posting regular updates on her Facebook page, on which her supporters are commenting regularly. One supporter Philippe Petit from Grenoble, comments:

“Thank you to you, your action relayed in the press is of benefit to all to break the isolation of our circumstances, to inform the world that [children with] autism and their families face a real dictatorship in this elitist country.”

Daughter Melissa, was awaiting news of a place on a specialist behavioural development plan for September, on July 24 , Ms Tiari posted:

“There is nothing gained. Melissa will not take the place of another child who has been waiting two and a half years for this treatment.”

Cognitive and behavioural support methods are widely available throughout the US, Canada, Britain, having been developed with Autistic children in the Nordic Countries. The lack of specialists in France is partly the reason that there are so few places available to children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Ms Tiarti posted on her Facebook page earlier today:

“For those who know me from near or far, I know that this fight leads to grips with it and a big heart MOM, so that finally our children can be included in society and not excluded.
The road is still long, however, I remain optimistic about the great strides that we can make, all together.
My work does not stop. My action is ours.”

About the author 

Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.

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